Spark has selected Ericsson to supply an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) to bring together its multiple core networks into one IP network.
Spark says the IMS will bring the networks together into a modern and unified platform, providing more diversity, reliability and scalability and lay the foundation for growth in voice over IP connections, driven particularly by the huge increase in fibre connections on Spark’s network and its wireless broadband products.
IMS is an architectural framework developed by mobile standards body 3GPP for delivering the full range of mobile services – voice and data -of a single IP network, rather than using a circuit switched network for voice. It was proposed in 1999 and included in release 5 of 3GPP in 2003.
Spark GM of Networks, Colin Brown, said: “IMS gives us the ability to keep up with the huge demand for voice over fibre connections, as well as giving us the ability to support services in the future, such as voice over LTE and Wi-Fi calling.
“Ericsson helped us deliver New Zealand’s very first analogue mobile network in the 1980s, and we’re pleased to be working with them again – they are recognised globally as leaders in IMS and have a huge global research and development operation.”
Emilio Romeo, CEO of Ericsson Australia & New Zealand, said the first services enabled on the network would be voice over fibre and voice over wireless broadband, offering better voice quality with faster call-setup times, starting in mid 2017.
“Other features the teams will be working to deliver for the future are, voice and video calling over LTE and Wi-Fi calling, providing Spark customers with seamless voice services coverage when moving between different accesses,” Romeo said.
Brown noted thatEricsson had provided New Zealand’s first analogue mobile network in the 1980s, to Spark’s predecessor, Telecom New Zealand.More recently, in 2014, Spark deployed Ericsson’s Service Agility Suite to reengineer its IT platforms for increased agility.