Ericsson has won a deal to provide Softbank Mobile with its end-to-end VoLTE solution.
The deal, financial details of which have not been disclosed, sees the Sweden-based vendor upgrade Softbank’s existing core network with an IMS core.
According to Ericsson, the introduction of VoLTE will enable Softbank to offer telecom-grade HD voice and video calling and serve as the basis for the Japan-based operator’s future network virtualisation plans alongside the introduction of telco cloud.
Further, Ericsson said in a statement, the introduction of VoLTE will help Softbank to utilise its spectrum resources more efficiently.
Where there is no LTE coverage, Softbank will deploy Ericsson’s Single Radio Voice Call Continuity solution.
The vendor already supplies Softbank with its LTE infrastructure and Jan Signell, Ericsson’s Head of Region, North East Asia, welcomed the extension of this important strategic relationship.
At Ericsson's Business Innovation in Tokyo, Signell told European Communications that it had already started work on implmenting the solution and said he expected it to be completed "some time" next year.
The "fairly long" deployment cycle is in addition to the lack of VoLTE-enabled devices currently in one of the world's most advanced telecoms markets, he added.
The deal is a boost to Ericsson’s business in Japan, which saw revenues fall by 28 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of the year. Overall, Ericsson's Q3 revenues fell three percent although profits rose.
Softbank is the third largest mobile operator in Japan behind NTT Docomo and KDDI and acquired US operator Sprint during the summer.
“With the rapid network evolution to LTE, Softbank Mobile decided to introduce VoLTE as the next generation communication technology for voice and video calling,” commented Junichi Miyakawa, Executive Vice President, Director and CTO.
“We hope to be able to deliver quality communication technology in a fast and cost-effective manner by utilising Ericsson’s VoLTE solution.