Continuing on its quest to transform to an all IP network through its Network Transformation programme, Telkom’s new Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) core has now been switched on.
The company says that this move towards an all IP Converged Core Network is consistent with Telkom’s NGN Transformation Themes:
* Revamping the access (build of MSANs);
* Enhancing aggregation (fibre closer to key businesses and office parks); and
* Evolving the core and migrating voice (IMS Converged Core).

“The deployment of the latter is one of the major milestones in our journey to complete the NGN transformation,” Telkom says.

At the launch of the company’s first MSAN unit in March 2012 Bashier Sallie, Telkom’s MD of Wholesale and Networks explained that an access network is only as good as the underlying transmission and core network. He also says at the time that Telkom had gone a long way in revamping 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. It satisfies the operators need for an overlay network that supports both emulated and simulated voice services whilst enabling efficiency and delivering fixed and mobile converged voice products.

Speaking to the significance of this unveiling, Sallie, says: “For Telkom, this is the most significant network intervention in three decades. Our current Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) 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 timeous build and launch of this new voice platform further indicates Telkom’s focused execution of its network strategy. The IMS core team comprised of Telkom’s own technical and engineering personnel and members of staff from equipment supplier Huawei who took only six months to complete the build project.

The standards based IMS core that 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 MSAN’s 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. I am especially proud that we can innovate in a manner that indicates that the Telkom today is working hard to be the network that our customers and the greater South African public can be proud of,” concludes Sallie.