3, the mobile media company, today announced it has awarded a major network expansion contract to Nokia in the UK. In addition to extending Nokia's exclusive supply of core network equipment, 3 is receiving an upgrade of its core network to 3GPP Release 4 functionality, provided by the Nokia MSC Server Solution.
Under the agreement, Nokia will deploy Nokia MSC Servers, Nokia Media Gateways and Nokia FlexiISN with service aware GGSN functionality, as well as provide upgrades to 3 existing core network elements in the UK. The deployment will increase the capacity of 3's network and deliver improved network functionality.
Release 4 is a 3GPP-specified architecture that optimizes mobile networks by enabling operators to concentrate call control to centralised premises, while distributing switching functions to locations nearer to areas of high demand, this helps manage both the cost of operating and building the network.
In addition, Nokia will provide installation, commissioning, integration services, plus network planning and design services and system integration services. The services will be supported using Nokia NetAct(TM), the only fully featured, multi-vendor, multi-technology operations support system on a single platform. The agreement continues the cooperation between the two companies that began in March 2001.
David Cooper, CTO, 3 UK said "Providing our growing number of customers with high quality, state-of-the-art services requires an equally high quality, modern network with capacity for growth. At the same time, it has to provide superior operational efficiency, even as the network expands and evolves toward all IP. The MSC Server solution fits the bill on all counts thanks to the Release 4 architecture and quality product design."
Jorg Erlemeier, General Manager, Networks, Nokia said "We are happy to be providing 3 with a high quality core network expansion that fully supports their high subscriber growth rate. The MSC Server Solution based on Release 4 meets 3's need for a future proof, cost effective network."