Dublin, Ireland - Three has selected Nokia Networks to help develop what is designed to be Ireland's best ever mobile network following its recent acquisition of O2 in Ireland. Nokia Networks will upgrade the operator's 2G and 3G networks as part of an overall 300m network investment plan by Three.
Deployment of new technology and hardware will start in September and the project will be completed by 2017, although Three expects customers to start benefiting from the improvements before then.
Welcoming the announcement, David Hennessy, Chief Technical Officer of Three, commented: "Nokia Networks has been our technology partner since 2004 and we are delighted to extend this partnership to bring our network to the next level. Following on from Three's successful acquisition of O2 in Ireland, this significant network investment further demonstrates our commitment to roll out a state-of-the-art network for our customers. We are moving towards becoming the No. 1 operator in the country and will do this by providing the best network, value and service for our customers."
Russell Garner, head of 3 UK and Ireland customer team at Nokia Networks, said,"This project underscores our long and fruitful partnership with Three Ireland. We will support Three Ireland as it strengthens its position in the market and use our technical expertise to help it become the operator-of-choice in the country."
With this deal, Nokia Networks will provide its Single RAN platform based on the high-capacity, scalable and energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station* for 2G and 3G. It will also modernize the core network with its Liquid Core** based Open Mobile Softswitch (MSS) and Open Media Gateway (MGW), as well as provide its Subscriber Data Management*** solution.
Furthermore, Nokia Networks will deploy its cloud-ready OSS system, NetAct, for monitoring, managing and optimizing 3 Ireland's network. The company's network sharing and consolidation services, including Network Planning, Network Implementation and System Integration, will ensure a seamless transition and high network quality for 3 Ireland. The contract also includes hardware, software and competence development services.
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About Three Ireland
In July 2014, Three completed the acquisition of O2 in Ireland, which was previously owned by Telefonica. This deal takes Three's market share to 37% and brings subscriber numbers to over 2m active users.Three has so far invested over 1.1bn in the Three Irish business. This, together with the purchase of O2 in Ireland and the planned investment of 300m to build a 4G network over the next three years, will bring our total investment in Ireland to circa 2bn.Three is part of HWL's 3 Group Europe which operates 3G services in Ireland, UK, Austria, Denmark, Italy and Sweden. 3 Group Europe has over 22 million customers.Three was the first to launch mobile broadband in Ireland and is now the mobile broadband leader.
Three is 100% indirectly owned by Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL), a multinational conglomerate committed to innovation and technology. Its diverse businesses employ over 260,000 people in 52 countries worldwide.HWL's operations range from some of the world's biggest port operators and retailers, to property development and infrastructure, to innovative telecommunications and data services. HWL is a leading global operator of mobile telecommunications and data services and a major owner and operator of fibre-optic fixed-line networks in Hong Kong.
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* The Nokia Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station has recently been ranked a leader in capacity and deployment flexibility in analyst company Current Analysis' latest 'LTE eNodeB Assessment' of April 4, 2014. According to the report, Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station outperforms the competition in capacity, deployment flexibility, spectrum coverage and power output. "LTE-Advanced market momentum and product differentiation lend credibility," said Current Analysis in its report summary, noting that Nokia provided a "broader range of supported spectrum bands than other vendors." The same analyst report also highlighted the company's leadership, with its Liquid Applications being a clear differentiator with its novel approach to optimizing mobile content and applications.
** Part of Nokia's Liquid Net, Liquid Core enables operators to simultaneously run various core network elements on the same hardware platform. It provides extreme hardware efficiency and flexibility with the automated network management of core networks. Liquid Core is built on Core Virtualization and iSON (intelligent Self-Organizing Networks) Core. With Core Virtualization, core network software applications can run on commercial off-the-shelf ATCA platforms or IT server blade platforms, depending on the operator's preference. This increases the efficiency of the core network, channeling capacity to the right applications in order to handle sudden traffic changes. With iSON Core technology, the rapid allocation of resources can be managed more efficiently to meet changing demands. Since the network management is automated, the operator can make the most of its core network investment while improving operational efficiency and network stability.
Nokia Networks has 180 Open Core System customers worldwide with over 80 live core networks. And more than 500 operators serving 1.8 billion subscribers have selected the company's core products, which are now available on the Liquid Core platform. In 2011, Nokia's Open Core System won the category of 'Best LTE Core Network Product' at the LTE North America Awards.
*** Nokia Subscriber Data Management (SDM), including One-NDS and New Technology Home Location Register (NT-HLR), is a central entity for mobile communication networks. It hosts all relevant subscriber information as well as network and mobility application information needed to allow a completely seamless communication in GSM, 3G and LTE networks worldwide. SDM architecture is based on the concept of separating application service logic (dataless NT HLR front end) and application data (One-NDS). Because of this architecture, the solution scales flexibly and is highly reliable, providing new value added functionalities for operators.