Vodafone India deploys Nokia's cloud mobile gateway to serve Bangalore subscribers

Vodafone India is using Nokia's mobile cloud gateway to serve more than 7 million subscribers in Bangalore. (Pixabay)

Nokia netted a significant customer win with Vodafone India after the carrier picked Nokia's cloud mobile gateway for its system in Bangalore.

Similar to Silicon Valley in the U.S., Bangalore is the high-tech capital of India, and Nokia was faced with the challenge of how to best service Vodafone India's 7.8 million subscribers in the Bangalore area alone.

Nokia's Vinai Sirkay, vice president of business development for cloud packet core, said in an interview with FierceTelecom that Vodafone India was staring down significant year-over-year bandwidth demand increases for its mobile broadband service in Bangalore.

"This (deployment of the cloud mobile gateway) came down very quickly because of the stresses on network with bandwidth growth of 500%," Sirkay said. "Working with Vodafone India, I would say it took us about a quarter to implement."

Nokia's Nick Cadwgan, director of IP mobile networking, said the cloud packet core deployment in Bangalore was an affirmation of the vendor's strategy in the marketplace.

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"I think it reinforces our continued investment and market momentum around Nokia's cloud packet core," Cadwgan told FierceTelecom. "Basically it goes back to the decisions we made a couple of years ago from a product strategy investment perspective to heavily invest in cloud-native and the application of cloud and web-scale technologies because that's where could see the requirements were going for mobile core, whether its 3G, 4G or 5G."

As part of its decision to go with cloud-native and web-scale technologies, Cadwgan said Nokia also invested in software disaggregation.

"We've broken the software of the network functions into smaller components and these components can be managed in an agile cloud operations lifecycle," he said. "So it gives it very, very good flexibility and scalability for deployments."

By using Nokia's cloud mobile gateway, which is part of cloud packet core, Vodafone India is able to put more of its network functions closer to the network edge so that content can be downloaded locally, which reduces latency and provides a better customer experience.

"You can imagine the scaling challenges that Vodafone India has, but also the performance challenges," Cadwgan said. "We took all of the knowledge that we learned over the years developing our own silicon to create what we call a virtual forwarding plane to go to into these cloud and server based environments and platforms. It's all about the intelligent and appropriate application of cloud and web scale technologies."

The cloud mobile gateway also has the ability to lower the power that is consumed to serve each customer, which in turns reduces Vodafone India's carbon footprint in Bangalore. The gateway will also allow Vodafone to launch new digital services for residential and enterprise customers. Sirkay said some of those future applications could include internet of things services and applications, as well as 5G.

While Cadwgan declined to speak about Nokia's competitors, which would include Ericsson and Huawei, he said one of the benefits that his company brought to the table was being both a mobile and networking vendor.