O2 Ireland: Future focus

O2 Ireland and Ericsson complete large scale transformation project.
O2 Ireland

With a single vendor network transformation project, O2 Ireland enhances its position in a fiercely competitive market and captures significant market share in mobile broadband.

In a market with above average economic growth, poor DSL penetration and saturated mobile voice, O2 Ireland saw a perfect opportunity to step up its mobile broadband capabilities. Combined with a need to address opex and capex and concerns with existing vendors, this created an ambition for a new and improved network. After a review of its long-term plans, O2 Ireland embarked on a phase by phase network transformation project with Ericsson.

Karim Benabdallah, Advisor to CTO and CEO office, O2 Ireland elaborates: "We turned to Ericsson as the market leader and once we began talking with them we gained a better understanding of what they could offer: technology leadership, capability to offer an end-to-end solution and significant presence in Ireland. All of these aspects were very important to us."

After looking at the possibility of a single vendor core and access network, O2 Ireland decided that this was the best route to take. Interoperability issues would be overcome and O2 Ireland would be able to spend its time on the important task of serving its customers. O2 Ireland and Ericsson embarked on a 100 percent live network swapout which replaced the network from the two existing vendors with an all Ericsson network. This substantially reduced opex and addressed the operator's capex challenge at the same time. Noel Magee, Business Development Manager, Ericsson talks about the difficulty that comes with such a large swap-out: "The project involved the swap of 2 500 base stations and the 2G and 3G core. We had to demonstrate that we had the local capability to carry out this swap without disrupting services. To address this we looked at combining the strengths of the Ericsson organization in Ireland with the wider Ericsson experience and the strengths of O2 Ireland itself." The cooperation between the partners made a key contribution to the positive outcome. Karim Benabdallah adds: "One of the key reasons for the success of this project was how the process was handled. A dedicated team, fully committed to the project and led by a team of specialists meant that services were maintained throughout and O2 Ireland is now known as the best supplier of mobile broadband in Ireland."

O2 Ireland realized the market potential with mobile broadband using HSPA and wanted to offer true broadband speeds, not the 384 kilobits available with the then current 3G project. Mobile broadband with several megabits per second was the goal, to enable the services and capabilities that O2 planned to implement. Major motivations behind the project were to meet the market need for mobile broadband with DSL-comparable speeds and increase the wider availability of the broadband service. These goals have been achieved and subscribers can now access a level of service which has never been available to them before. The potential for O2 Ireland is huge and with the new high-performing network infrastructure and services, the operator can go from strength to strength.


Customer: O2 Ireland

Customer Objective

  • Launch high-speed mobile broadband services
  • Address opex and capex issues
  • Remove interoperability issues on the network
  • Further improve service quality
  • Gain overall leadership in the Irish market

Ericsson Solution

  • Complete transformation project, including swap of 2 500 base stations
  • Full Service Broadband solution, including 2G and 3G radio access, circuit-switched and packetswitched core, user management, OSS and services
  • Accelerated 3G rollout to respect regulatory obligations

Customer Benefits

  • Future-proof network
  • Improved competitive position
  • More time to focus on customers
  • Improved network quality

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Customer profile

O2 Ireland's position in the Irish market

O2 Ireland is a leading provider of mobile services, offering communications solutions to 1.7 million customers in Ireland. Until recently O2 Ireland was a wholly owned subsidiary of mmO2 plc. Since the completion of a corporate take-over O2 is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Telefónica S.A. The combined entity is the second largest global wireless operator outside of China in terms of active subscribers, with more than 116 million mobile customers.