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Vodafone wins GTB innovation award with Nokia ‘Pop-Up’ Network

Twitter: @AndyBurrell

VF IT award
Paula Bozzi and Samuele Macchi from Nokia collect the GTB award on behalf of Vodafone Italy

If you were in Imola, Italy last summer on July 8th, 2015, chances are you’re an AC/DC fan… and probably a Vodafone fan too after the performance that their network delivered. With over 90,000 music fans gathered for their concert,  Vodafone was also ready to rock with its Nokia Pop-Up Network that doubled capacity, increasing data speeds and boosting customer experience. The Telecom Industry recognized this achievement with a Global Telecoms Business award on the 25th of May, 2016 in London.

The challenge

Vodafone wanted to provide the best event experience for their subscribers attending the concert, but faced a challenge with the sheer volume of fans packed into the area around the music stage.  Fans always want to share the moment with friends and family by uploading photos and posting updates to social media, but we all know the strain this places on uplink capacity of existing networks.  Because mobile devices transit in all directions, they would also interfere with the uplink performance of neighbouring cells to further exacerbate the problem. And given the temporary nature of the concert, operators struggle to justify investment in a permanent installation.

Pop-Up Network to the rescue

To solve this challenge Vodafone deployed our temporary Pop-Up Network. Four base stations added massive capacity, with Nokia Centralized RAN technology helping to mitigate interference. The network was planned by Vodafone experts, with Nokia configuring and deploying remote radio heads connected to centralised baseband via optical cables to ensure minimal latency. Unique software features automatically selected the best signal to use every millisecond from multiple receivers to dramatically improve the uplink performance. Nokia and Vodafone worked together during the event itself to assure the performance of the network and ensure the best experience for subscribers.

Over 65,000 connections/hour handled

Watch this video to find out why Nokia Pop-Up Network is the best solution for outdoor events

The result exceeded expectations. Despite the huge traffic volumes flooding the network, near perfect performance was achieved. The Centralized RAN features ensured that overall uplink capacity was doubled using the same amount of spectrum (compared with standard base station used during event). In total over 65,000 connection requests/hour were handled successfully at peak times. Benchmarking also revealed that the Vodafone network provided up to 10x faster data speeds compared to competitor networks.

With this temporary solution Vodafone was able to ensure the best event experience for subscribers, improving satisfaction and usage of mobile broadband services. The judges at GTB agreed that this innovative solution was a worthy winner.

Visit our webpage to read more on our Pop-Up Network.

Share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – or join the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks or @nokia using #Vodafone #events #CSPCX .

Andrew Burrell

About Andrew Burrell

Andy is responsible for Nokia’s Digital Operations’ marketing.  After more than 25 years in the telecoms industry he remains fascinated by the possibilities of technology, in particular the potential of 5G and Artificial Intelligence to transform networks, operations and business.  He loves to use his various devices to keep up with social media, news, and above all, the football results. Finally realizing that the phone call from Arsenal FC was never going to come, he has given up playing and now prefers to watch his kids chase their own dreams from the side of the pitch.  Tweet me @andyburrell or connect via

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