Etisalat moves networks to the cloud
Operator deploys Alcatel-Lucent virtualised radio network controller in UAE, Sri Lanka
Etisalat Group is deploying Alcatel-Lucent's virtualised radio network control on its radio access networks (RAN) in both the UAE and Sri Lanka, it was announced yesterday.
According to a statement, the deployment will use network functions virtualisation (NFV) on Etisalat's RANs, providing greater flexibility and efficiency. Alcatel-Lucent said that this was the first deployment of its kind in both the UAE and Sri Lanka.
The move comes as Etisalat seeks to modernise its network as data demands from customers continue to surge. Alcatel-Lucent will initially deploy its 9771 Wireless Cloud Element Radio Network Controller (WCE) on Etisalat's UAE network, with the Sri Lanka deployment following later in 2015.
Etisalat has already deployed the WCE platform on its Mobily network in Saudi Arabia. Alcatel-Lucent said that it was looking to cooperate further with Etisalat in other markets as the operator begins to roll out NFV solutions.
"We are focused on meeting the growing and diverse data demands of our customers in a very innovative and efficient way," said Hatem Bamatraf, CTO at Etisalat Group.
"Following the successful deployment of the WCE in the Mobily network in Saudi Arabia we are pleased to continue our work with Alcatel-Lucent and leverage its cloud expertise to continue to deliver the high performance our customers expect even as their demands grow further."
Alcatel-Lucent has said that it wants to accelerate the deployment of NFV through its participation in the ETSI NFV advisory board. The vendor has recently announced the virtualisation of a range of network functions, including evolved packet core, IMS, service routing and content delivery.
"This deployment shows Alcatel-Lucent's continued commitment to innovation in the area of virtualisation of our wireless portfolio," said Amr K. El-Leithy, regional president at Alcatel-Lucent.
"Our carrier-class, real-time, signalling software of the WCE leverages our cloud expertise and will bring greater efficiency and flexibility to the control of the radio elements in Etisalat's network."