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Bharti Airtel to offer voice services to LTE customers via GSM #MWC13

Gurgaon, India – February 25, 2013

 

  • Nokia Siemens Networks enables capability to automatically switch to GSM voice network in operator’s 4G network in Pune, India
  • Only operator to combine voice with TD-LTE services through GSM network
  • Will allow LTE customers to use 4G handsets for voice calls, voicemails

Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, will soon launch voice services for its 4G, TD-LTE (time division duplex long term evolution) customers in Pune, India, through its existing GSM network. The operator has selected Nokia Siemens Networks to deploy its Circuit Switched FallBack (CSFB) voice solution in the operator’s live TD-LTE network in the city. With CSFB, the network can transfer customers to GSM platform to make and receive voice calls and access voicemails while retaining the experience of ultra-fast data services on 4G smartphones.

Jagbir Singh, CTO & Director – Network Services Group, Bharti Airtel, said, “At Airtel, it is our constant endeavor to offer compelling service propositions to our customers. Bharti Airtel has the advantage of pan-India GSM and 3G networks and with the deployment of cutting edge CSFB functionality, we will have the flexibility of using either or both the networks to support voice services on our TD-LTE platform. The solution will enable our 4G customers to enjoy high-quality voice services on GSM network and ultra-fast data services on TD-LTE platform – thereby allowing them to have a unified experience on a 4G handset. Bharti Airtel has always been at the forefront in the Indian telecom revolution, and now with Nokia Siemens Networks’ CSFB solution, we are pleased to provide leadership in setting another technology standard by introducing voice services to TD-LTE customers.”

Thorsten Robrecht, head of Mobile Broadband portfolio management at Nokia Siemens Networks, said, “This achievement of enabling world-first voice call fallback from TD-LTE to GSM in live network is yet another milestone in our efforts to strengthen the commercialization and deployment of TD-LTE technology globally. Our CSFB assures a successful and reliable mechanism for voice services alongside any LTE data service.”

Nokia Siemens Networks deployed its radio network elements in addition to its voice core and packet core network elements to the commercially launched network of Bharti Airtel in Pune. The company deployed its Single RAN (radio access network) platform based on its award-winning, energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio Base Station. In addition, the company deployed its Mobile Softswitching (MSS) systems and its Liquid Core-based** Evolved Packet Core (EPC) platform, including Flexi NS (Network Server) and Flexi NG (Network Gateway). Nokia Siemens Networks’ network management system NetAct has been implemented to monitor, manage and optimize the whole network.

With its comprehensive mobile broadband and services portfolio, Nokia Siemens Networks is a leading supplier of CSFB core capability. The company has delivered CSFB to more than 30 customers across the globe.

About Bharti Airtel Limited

Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company's product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 264 million customers across its operations at the end of January 2013. To know more please visit, www.airtel.com

About Nokia Siemens Networks

Nokia Siemens Networks is the world’s specialist in mobile broadband. From the first ever call on GSM, to the first call on LTE, we operate at the forefront of each generation of mobile technology. Our global experts invent the new capabilities our customers need in their networks. We provide the world’s most efficient mobile networks, the intelligence to maximize the value of those networks, and the services to make it all work seamlessly.

With headquarters in Espoo, Finland, we operate in over 100 countries and had net sales of approximately 13.8 billion euros in 2012. http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com

Media Enquiries

Nokia Siemens Networks
Subhagata Mukherjee
India Region Communications
Phone: +91 98104 13703
e-mail: subhagata [dot] mukherjee [at] nsn [dot] com

Media Relations
Phone: +358 7140 02869
e-mail: mediarelations [at] nsn [dot] com

Bharti Airtel
Gayatri Doda
Phone: +91 124 424 3047
E-mail: Gayatri [dot] Doda [at] in [dot] airtel [dot] com

 

Notes:
*CSFB is a 3GPP compliant functionality that enhances TD-LTE (time division duplex-long term evolution) and FDD-LTE frequency division duplex-long term evolution) deployments with voice capabilities. With CSFB, the end-user device is directed to WCDMA or GSM network for voice calls. The device then remains in the WCDMA/GSM network until the call is completed. Data sessions also continue in the 3G network many times at lower speeds. If dual transfer mode is available in GSM, data session also continues while using the GSM network. CSFB also enables text messaging service (SMS) for LTE subscribers, providing a unified voice and SMS service experience along with LTE data services. The subscribers can use the same phonebook, supplementary services such as call waiting and call forwarding, and the same voicemail box.

Operators can reuse existing infrastructure investments while they can delay the implementation of voice over LTE (VoLTE) based on IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) including the required system integration for instance for business and operational support systems. Next to this existing roaming systems and inter-operator roaming contracts can be reused. With CSFB, operators can effectively address competition from over the top internet service providers. In addition, this functionality helps operators eliminate the problem of frequent handovers between CS and VoIP domain, if the quality of VoLTE coverage in the beginning is not consistent.

** Part of Nokia Siemens Networks’ Liquid Net, Liquid Core decouples hardware and software and adds intelligent software applications that enable the core network to adapt and optimize to meet the fluid needs of subscribers, the services they use and the operational state of the network itself.

Through core virtualization, any core software application can run on COTS ATCA and ultimately other generic multi-purpose hardware. Costs are reduced by re-using existing hardware. In addition, it is possible to reduce floor space by up to 80% and energy costs up to 65%, with future improvements expected. Furthermore, intelligent broadband management delivers the best customer experience at the lowest cost, end-to-end across all network domains.

To date, Liquid Core has been rolled out to 70operators. Nokia Siemens Networks has160 Open Core System customers worldwide with over 70 live core networks. And more than 280 operators serving 1.6 billion subscribers have selected the Nokia Siemens Networks MSS, which is now available on the Liquid Core Platform. Nokia Siemens Networks Open Core System won in the category of the ’Best LTE Core Network Product’ at LTE North America Awards 2011.