Etisalat, Ericsson and Huawei deploy first E2E live multi-vendor VoNR ecosystem

Etisalat UAE, part of e& (formerly known as Etisalat Group), in collaboration with Ericsson and Huawei, today announced the successful deployment and testing of the first E2E live multi-vendor VoNR (Voice over New Radio) ecosystem worldwide. The launch marks an important milestone for the UAE’s digital transformation objectives.

VoNR is a call service that uses the stand-alone architecture of the 5G network, providing lower latency and improved quality, resulting in an elevated calling experience and high-speed data. VoNR Call has been made and verified over a live multi-vendor ecosystem consisting of Core and Radio 5G SA related nodes from both Ericsson and Huawei. This innovative milestone is an important step towards the commercial introduction of seamless 5G voice services in e&’s cloud-native network.

Khalid Murshed, Chief Technology and Information Officer at Etisalat UAE, said: “The launch of VoNR is in line with e&’s vision to bring the best in digital technologies, smart connectivity and innovative solutions to all our customers. With Ericsson and Huawei as our strategic partners for this project, we will maximise opportunities to further enhance the end-user communication experience by ensuring better voice continuity and quality. Today, handset manufacturers are keen to massively launch VoNR enabled devices in the market for which e& is pleased to have its network-ready fulfilling the requirements of complete live multi-vendors ecosystem.”

Ekow Nelson, Vice President Ericsson Middle East & Africa, said: “Over the past years, voice calling has become a key service in the UAE. As the UAE is driving ever-more digitalisation powered by 5G, high quality and seamless voice calling will become a must-have service for residents across the nation. With the launch of Etisalat UAE’s first VoNR service, we are proud to play a continued role in helping the UAE realise its digital transformation objectives. We remain committed to providing network excellence to ensure the nation is equipped to offer the numerous digital opportunities that 5G will bring to the region.”

A spokesperson at Huawei said: “As 5G SA coverage expands within UAE, the demand for better voice quality with best possible experience is inevitable on 5G Core. This is why VoNR will be the key to further improve the customer’s confidence trusting voice continuity in 5G coverage areas. Huawei, is fully committed to assist Etisalat on this digitalisation journey and would feel privileged to work with Etisalat to help them achieve their goals.”

Etisalat UAE’s (part of e&) customers will benefit from 5G stand-alone data browsing with ongoing voice calls, superior quality 5G voice services through “HD voice +”, faster call set-up, as well as robust security to prevent fraud and misuse of personal data.

VoNR Enhanced Voice Services technology also removes voice distortion, water noise or any other types of voice disturbance that customers would have faced in the past. It is expected that new services will be rolled out through the VoNR ecosystem, such as accessing real-time mobile interactive gaming and voice call at the same time, exchanging secure media content during the voice call and experiencing interactive augmented and virtual reality.