VENTURES AFRICA – Vodacom, a leading pan-African mobile telecoms company, with support from Nokia Siemens Networks, has become the first operator in Africa to offer ultra-fast LTE (4G) data service in combination with voice and text messaging.
Deploying Nokia Siemens Networks’ Liquid Core, Vodacom’s LTE network now enables a circuit switched fall-back (CSFB) functionality which allows 4G users to make and receive video calls using the lower GSM or 3G network while retaining the 4G network.
The managing executive, core network engineering at Vodacom South Africa, Andries Steenkamp, commented on the development: “We wanted to ensure that our customers get a unified service by being able to access both mobile voice and SMS services alongside 4G/LTE data services.”
He furthered: “Nokia Siemens Networks has surely given us a head-start over competition by providing a solution that meets our requirements. The fact that it was deployed in record time gave us an edge over others in the market.”
According to Paul Divall, head of the Vodacom South Africa customer team at Nokia Siemens Networks, the integration was completed in 4 weeks.
The network upgrade inches Vodacom higher in a stiff South African mobile market competition, intensely contested by major telecom operators like MTN and Telkom.
Nokia Siemens Networks is the world’s specialist in mobile broadband. Headquartered in Finland, the company operates in over 150 countries, recording net sales of over 14 billion euros in 2011 alone.
Founded in 1994, Vodacom provides voice, messaging, data and converged services to over 45 million customers across Africa.
The Johannesburg-based company is majorly owned by Vodafone, and is listed on the JSE Limited.