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How to deploy VoLTE, a view from the frontline with StarHub

This blog is by Riitta Siira at Nokia Networks.
Twitter: @RiittaSiira

This blog is part of our #ExpertAdvantage series – giving you the inside scoop on how Nokia Networks Services solve real operator challenges.

The mobile sector is packed with innovation. Exciting stuff? Yes! Easy to implement? Not exactly… So how do you acquire the expertise and experience needed to implement a totally new technology? It’s something we’ve thought about deeply and invested considerable resources in solving.

To describe how, let’s take the example of Voice over LTE technology. VoLTE hit center field in September 2014 when the iPhone 6 launched, attracting intense interest from both operators and subscribers.

Singapore’s StarHub was one of the early VoLTE adopters and quickly engaged Nokia to deploy the technology. For StarHub, a major selling point of the new VoLTE service was that it would support Apple’s new iPhone 6 and other latest devices – so getting these new devices to work with the upgraded network was a must.

Like any project delivered by Nokia Networks, this one saw StarHub benefit from our ‘Expert Advantage’ – a deep knowledge of networks, strong innovation capabilities, end-to-end solutions and an extreme focus on quality. But how did Expert Advantage actually benefit StarHub on the ground? And what behind-the-scenes engineering was needed to bring VoLTE to life?

In the project’s first step, Nokia Networks experts worked closely with StarHub to discover its needs and expectations: what would a successful project look like for the company? Then came the network assessment phase, which involved an expert analysis of all the network elements in order to understand and plan the hardware and software changes needed. New VoLTE software was installed after upgrading almost every element in the network. A key time-saver was ensuring that any bugs were solved directly with the R&D experts in Germany and Finland who had originally developed the software.

The project team comprised a mix of local experts who knew the network inside out and engineers brought in from other regions for added expertise. Together with remotely accessed Network Planning and Integration (NPI) services, they were able to deliver what was needed and work closely with Apple and Samsung to ensure users got the experience they were expecting. Apple acknowledged the achievement by granting StarHub iPhone 6 VoLTE certified status.

Today, an increasing number of StarHub VoLTE subscribers are enjoying fast call set-up times and simultaneous high-speed data and voice calls as they move seamlessly between 4G to 3G

Vodafone Italy also recently launched commercial VoLTE with the help of Nokia Networks planning and optimization services. Read the Press Release here.

Looking to implement a new technology? You can benchmark against other successful services projects here on our Expert Advantage page.

Please share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – and join the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks using #NetworksPerform #mobilebroadband #VoLTE #ExpertAdvantage #services.

Riitta Siira

About Riitta Siira

Riitta is responsible for Nokia's 5G Services and strategic projects. She’s fascinated by the 5G world of opportunities and wants a front row seat when the first use cases are live. Her multiple devices and apps keep her connected with family and friends, and she loves to express herself through her blogs. Tweet me @RiittaSiira

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