Ericsson and Telstra use mobile softswitch innovation to lift mobile-network efficiency

Press release
Apr 02, 2008 10:30 (GMT +00:00)
Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) is assisting Australia's Telstra to simplify its mobile network by deploying the world's first Mobile Softswitch Solution based on highly efficient blade technology. It will also reduce the energy use of the softswitch by up to 60 percent per subscriber.
Telstra started this transformation in 2007 when it became the first operator in the world to implement a common GSM-WCDMA Mobile Switching Center-Server (MSC-S) pool network, which is now in full commercial service. Commercial implementation of the next-generation Mobile Softswitch Solution using the new MSC-S Blade Cluster has just started.

This innovative technology provides ultra-high capacity, supporting up to eight million subscribers with only two cabinets. The footprint can be as little as 10 percent of that for existing servers, reducing energy consumption.

Mike Wright, Telstra's Executive Director of Wireless, says the completion of the world's first MSC-S pool architecture for a common GSM-WCDMA mobile core network means a more flexible and robust mobile network for Telstra's mobile customers.

"The MSC Server has a crucial function in delivering wireless services to customers so, by bringing together our 2G and 3G mobile cores, Telstra has achieved the key goal of providing an even more reliable customer experience," he says. "At the same time we have made inroads with our transformation goals of reduced complexity and operating costs through network simplification."

Telstra will be the first operator to implement the innovative MSC-S Blade Cluster commercially after selecting Ericsson to upgrade its mobile core network with the next generation of Mobile Softswitch Solution. "With MSC-Server Blade Cluster technology, we will be able to provide an improved service level to our customers and dramatically reduce our costs at the same time," Wright says.

Magnus Furustam, Vice President, Product Area Core and IMS at Ericsson, says: "MSC pool is a key part of the transformation we have been undertaking with Telstra to provide a world-leading 3G mobile broadband network for the Australian public.

"Telstra is the ideal customer for the first commercial implementation of Ericsson's MSC-S Blade Cluster. The combination of one of the world's most advanced WCDMA 850 networks and highly skilled Telstra engineers means that Telstra is well placed to take early advantage of this new generation of technology."

With the MSC Server Blade Cluster deployed in a pooled network, Telstra will be able to reduce the number of MSC nodes in its network by 75 percent while dramatically cutting the time needed to deploy additional capacity and functionality flexibly when traffic increases.

Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. The market leader in 2G and 3G mobile technologies, Ericsson supplies communications services and manages networks that serve more than 185 million subscribers. The company's portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, and broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and developers. The Sony Ericsson joint venture provides consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.
Ericsson is advancing its vision of 'communication for all' through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 70,000 employees generated revenue of USD 27.9 billion (SEK 188 billion) in 2007. Founded in 1876 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on the Stockholm, London and NASDAQ stock exchanges.
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About Telstra Corporation Ltd
Telstra Corporation Ltd is Australia's leading telecommunications and information services company, with one of the best-known brands in the country. Telstra is the only true media communications company in Australia that can provide customers with a truly integrated telecommunications experience across fixed line, mobiles, broadband (BigPond®), information, transaction and search (Sensis®) and pay TV (FOXTEL).

By using an integrated suite of network and media assets, Telstra is creating a world of 1-click, 1-touch, 1-command, any screen solutions that are integrated, operate in real-time, and are simple, easy and valued by customers.

About Mobile Switching Center Server (MSC-S)
The Ericsson Mobile Softswitch Solution comprises two different nodes: the Mobile Media Gateway (M-MGw) and the Mobile Switching Center Server (MSC-S). The MSC-S is the primary service delivery node of calls in wireless networks. It is responsible for handling voice calls and SMSs as well as other services (such as conference calls, fax and circuit-switched data). The MSC-S sets up and secures the end-to-end connection, handles mobility and hand-over requirements during the call, and takes care of charging records.

About MSC-S pool
Ericsson's MSC-S pool functionality is an architecture that enables a number of MSC-S servers to act as one "Mega MSC-Server", providing very high capacity and unsurpassed network level redundancy for mobile core networks. A fully operational pool allows changeover during planned and unplanned outages. This creates the possibility to reduce the number of sites and reduce the opex to operate and maintain a Mobile-Softswitch-Solution-based network. Ericsson was the first supplier in the world to deploy MSC pool in August 2006, and has since then deployed it in 18 commercial GSM networks on six continents.

About MSC-Server Blade Cluster

The MSC-Server Blade Cluster is the latest evolution of the MSC-Server in Ericsson's successful Mobile Softswitch Solution. The MSC-Server Blade Cluster provides ultra-high capacity, supporting up to eight million subscribers with only two single-depth cabinets, which results in up to 90 per cent footprint reduction compared with today's server generation. It enables operators to easily scale server capacity in line with future traffic increases and changing business needs. The node availability is increased significantly; operation and maintenance can be performed any time of the day without any traffic disturbances affecting the end-users' mobile phone calls. When combined with the MSC-S pool concept, the network level redundancy is increased dramatically.

The Ericsson Mobile Softswitch Solution is already the most energy-efficient solution on the market, and the MSC-Server Blade Cluster will further reduce power consumption by up to 60 per cent per subscriber. Operators can cut up to 45 per cent MSC Server opex through the reduced number of nodes to operate and maintain.