Mobily launching Alcatel-Lucent’s virtualised RAN in Saudi Arabia

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Alcatel-Lucent and Mobily Saudi Arabia have announced the first global deployment of virtualised radio access network (RAN) software from the vendor’s Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) portfolio.

Mobily is deploying Alcatel-Lucent’s 9771 Wireless Cloud Element Radio Network Controller (WCE RNC) to improve service performance, reliability, scale and operational efficiency. The Saudi telecom market is one of the most competitive in the Middle East, with more than 51 million mobile subscribers in a country that has a population of 27.3 million.

The operator is the first service provider globally to deploy Alcatel-Lucent’s virtual RAN software using the lightRadio 9771 Wireless Cloud Element Radio Network Controller (WCE RNC).

Alcatel-Lucent’s WCE RNC is part of the recently announced suite of Virtualised network functions. The NFV portfolio combines the company’s networking technical acumen with its cloud capabilities to help guide customers through the complex virtualisation journey without compromising operational performance and integrity.

Running virtual radio network control functions over open, carrier-grade platforms provides considerable advantages over traditional approaches greatly facilitates advanced RNC requirements for geo-redundancy, near zero downtime maintenance and software upgrades, load balancing, and dynamic reconfiguration.

Alaa Malki (Ag . Mobile Network CTO of Mobily) said: “We have a very technologically sophisticated customer base and we need to stay at the forefront of technological innovation to provide the level of experience that will keep them satisfied.”

Amr K. El-Leithy, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Azerbaijan region said: “Our accelerated investments in virtualised RAN applications are clear proof point that we have all the elements to help operators create an open agile, efficient cloud environment at a speed that meets their individual needs.”