Muscat: Vodafone in Oman and Ericsson have carried out the first successful test call that will pave the way for the commercial introduction of 5G standalone voice and data services for Vodafone subscribers in the Sultanate.
Oman’s first successful Voice over New Radio (VoNR) proof of concept call over a standalone 5G network is part of Vodafone and Ericsson’s ongoing project to develop a highly efficient and reliable nationwide standalone network – allowing for high-quality, seamless voice and data services.
Using Ericsson dual-mode 5G Core and Ericsson IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) technology, the proof of concept showed the potential of the mobile network to enhance speech quality across the country. It also demonstrated the capability of Vodafone’s network to enable 5G-specific voice and communication services for both consumers and enterprises, using an experimental terminal, which will subsequently be replaced by commercial terminals made by Vodafone’s partners.
Unlike non-standalone 5G networks, standalone 5G networks do not build on existing 4G networks and technology, instead pairing 5G radios with a cloud-native 5G core network – allowing for flexibility and speed to meet current and future customer demands.
Stelios Savvides, Vodafone’s Technology Director in Oman, says: “As we continue to push boundaries as an innovation leader in Oman, this successful VoNR proof of concept call is a milestone in our mission to enhance our 5G capabilities and deliver superior user experiences. High-quality and seamless voice calling will soon become a must-have service for residents across Oman, as Vodafone becomes one of an extremely select group of operators around the world to deploy a standalone 5G network. These developments are important stepping stones on the road to the future, providing the capability to support data requirements that can enable all manner of cutting-edge technologies, from real-time virtual reality and augmented reality to driverless cars and the latest advances in health care, improving quality of life en route. Our collaboration with Ericsson is another move towards providing our customers with advanced 5G voice and data services. We look forward to developing this proof of concept further and exploring a range of immersive applications that 5G standalone data and VoNR capabilities will enable for customers and digital enterprises across the country.”
Abdullah Al Balushi, Country Manager of Ericsson Oman, says, “We are confident these latest VoNR achievements will open doors to new business models and use cases and help Vodafone Oman deliver high-quality voice services and immersive experiences across the country. Through Vision 2040, Oman is embarking on a new phase of growth. Cellular technology is set to play a huge role in this journey and through our advanced communication technologies we aspire to help Oman realise the advanced digital economy mandated by Vision 2040. We remain committed to fostering collaborations and delivering our top-class 5G capabilities to support digitalisation and innovation across the Sultanate of Oman.”
Since its inception in Oman, Vodafone has partnered with Ericsson to introduce innovative cellular services to consumers and enterprises, accelerating the deployment of Industry 4.0 technologies in the country. The two companies are working closely together to deliver a state-of-the-art 5G standalone network and enhance Vodafone’s Radio Access Network (RAN) and transport capabilities, as well as develop a cloud-native 5G infrastructure and microservices architecture.