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Telkom's core next-gen network goes live

The IMS core is the fixed-line operator's choice of technology to deliver competitive voice and converged offerings.

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The history of telecommunications and Telkom's evolution.
The history of telecommunications and Telkom's evolution.

Telkom's "all new" IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) core has been switched on as it migrates to its next-generation network.

The company plans to spend more than R10 billion in the next two years on rolling out the all IP network, which it will fund with cash generated by operations. The switch-on follows its June announcement that it had cut over 240 multi-service access node (MSAN) units.

At the launch of its first MSAN unit, in March 2012, Bashier Sallie, MD of its wholesale and networks units, explained that an access network is only as good as the underlying transmission and core network. He also said, at the time, that Telkom had gone a long way to revamp its transmission and aggregation network.

The IMS core is Telkom's choice of technology to deliver competitive voice and converged offerings in its future mode of operation. Telkom says it satisfies the operator's need for an overlay network that supports both emulated and simulated voice services, while enabling efficiency and delivering fixed and mobile converged voice products.

Sallie says this is the most significant network intervention in three decades.

"Our current Time Division Multiplexing voice switching equipment has reliably provided the voice platform over the past three decades, but has reached end-of-life and will reach end-of-support in 2015/16. The IMS core will replace this seamlessly. In terms of voice applications, we are now ready for the future with the latest, best-in-breed technology."

The IMS core team comprised Telkom's own technical and engineering personnel and members of staff from equipment supplier Huawei, which took only six months to complete the build project.

The standards-based IMS core, which allows for the deployment of fixed and mobile services, is fully redundant and caters for a larger number of customers than legacy voice systems while affording Telkom significant savings in terms of space, power, cooling and maintenance and support.

The technology will replace core network switching equipment that is currently based in more than 100 of Telkom's buildings nationally. The voice aspect for all future MSANs that are deployed by Telkom will work off the IMS core.

"The migration of voice is an integral part of our network transformation programme that seeks to evolve our core network resulting in one network - for fixed and mobile - all IP-enabled," adds Sallie.

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