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Etisalat to deploy Alcatel-Lucent vRAN in Sri Lanka, UAE networks


Etisalat Group will deploy Alcatel-Lucent’s virtualised radio network controller in its opcos in the United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka.

The deployment, part of the operator’s network modernisation program, will be the first of its kind in both countries.

A-L is supplying its 9771 Wireless Cloud Element Radio Network Controller (WCE), which it claims offers up to 25 percent opex savings compared to traditional RNCs.

The WCE uses virtualisation technology to enable hardware and software independencies, allowing multiple applications to he hosted and shared by available hardware resources.

The deployment will take place in the UAE first, followed by Sri Lanka later this year.

Last year, Etisalat became the first operator in the world to deploy a virtualised RAN after signing a deal with A-L to roll out the WCE in its Saudi Arabian business Mobily.

Hatem Bamatraf, CTO of Etisalat, said: “We are focused on meeting the growing and diverse data demands of our customers in a very innovative and efficient way.

“Following the successful deployment [of the controller] in the Mobily network in Saudi Arabia we are pleased to continue our work with Alcatel-Lucent and leverage its cloud expertise to continue to deliver the high performance our customers expect even as their demands grow further.”

According to standards agency ETSI, there are more than 30 NFV deployments taking place currently.

Last week, as part of Phase Two of its NFV Industry Specification Group, it published  designed to provide a foundation for future NFV deployments.