Avea, the third largest operator in Turkey, is popular among young subscribers in urban areas. These users are highly demanding and following the launch of 3G in 2009, there was huge growth of mobile broadband data use. To provide new high speed services to its users and be competitive in the market, Avea undertook a mobile backhaul transformation project to increase network capacity and support its fast growth.
Spirit of innovation
Mehmet Erkul, Transport Director, Avea sets out the background of the project: "The mobile backhaul transformation is a strategic topic for Avea. We are really going to decrease our opex on the backhaul side and be ready for the next generation of LTE transport. We are going to be able to easily provide scalable services and improve time-to-market, which will provide us with a competitive footprint in the market."
The project was one of the largest backhaul optimization deployments in the region and following the upgrade, Avea is able to enjoy a simplified and optimized backhaul network. This means an increase in capacity and efficiency, resulting in a significantly reduced call drop rate and the ability to extend 3G and GSM coverage. Users get wider, more reliable data use and a greater choice of service packages. In addition, the upgrade prepares the network for LTE, so that the next generation of technology will be deployed quickly and efficiently in the future.
Ozgur Tohumcu, CU Head Turkey, Ericsson describes the benefits for Avea's users: "One of the things that we see happening is that it gives subscribers more choice, with new pricing schemes and new packages based on individual needs. It also provides a foundation to provide new, innovative services."
Keep it simple
Ericsson and Avea are long-term partners. Responsible for deploying the operator's end-to-end mobile broadband network including radio access, backhaul and core, Ericsson was also chosen for the transformation project. This involved migrating Avea's network from TDM to all-IP, providing optimization services and using the best combination of optical transport and microwave MINI-LINK products.
Goksel Sahin, Transmission Optimization Manager, Avea talks about what was delivered as part of the solution: "Ericsson is a market leader for transport networks and we are using their optical and microwave equipment as well. The services we get from Ericsson allow us to improve our capacity and efficiency which will allow us to introduce competitive prices and higher quality services for our customers."
There were several challenges to overcome for both partners. Avea's existing network was very complex and its engineers were experienced in TDM but not in IP technology. To address this, the operator worked closely with Ericsson to simplify its network structure and a number of test scenarios for site configurations were set up. The site configurations included different combinations of Ericsson Microwave MINI-LINK nodes and Optical SPO 1400 nodes.
In collaboration, the network design was finalized based on experience from Ericsson's proof of concept lab. The results from the tests were applied to the real network and the transformation to a native Ethernet structure was completed. In addition, Ericsson trained all subcontractors and Avea local and regional resources in the technology and the rules for its implementation.
As Avea's largest infrastructure provider with extensive knowledge and experience of the operator's network, Ericsson was a natural choice to partner on the project. Ericsson offered a flexible solution closely based on the customer requirements, sharing its global and local experience to help Avea create a future-proof backhaul network.
Mehmet Erkul, Avea talks about the relationship: "Ericsson is the major dominant player in the mobile market. Ericsson can provide end-to-end solutions and we see it as a long term partner for future capabilities and future technologies in our network."