Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) says it has reached a ‘major milestone’ in its core network upgrade, with the cellco revealing that all of its customers are now using the new infrastructure for 4G data sessions. In a press release confirming the development, Vodafone Australia’s chief technology officer Benoit Hanssen was cited as saying: ‘All Vodafone customers using 4G to download, upload and stream content on their devices are now connected to our new core network … Our new core network offers greater agility and flexibility, and for customers that means a better 4G experience.’
With Vodafone Australia’s 4G network now covering 96% of the country’s metropolitan population, as part of the upgrade project the cellco has said it expects one of the next developments to be the introduction of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) technology, reportedly planned for later this year.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in August 2014 Vodafone Australia revealed it had contracted Swedish vendor Ericsson as the sole supplier to replace and upgrade its complete core network for its national network. Under the terms of the five-year agreement – financial details of which were not disclosed – Ericsson said it would provide integration services for voice and packet core that it claimed would support VHA’s transformation of its operations business, while also enabling a more enriched customer offering. Using what it termed ‘the latest core technology’, including Ericsson’s solutions for Evolved Packet Core and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), policy control and circuit-switched core, Vodafone Australia is reportedly aiming to further enhance network robustness, performance and resiliency, and over the duration of the contact the two companies have committed to fully virtualising the core network.