New Zealand Operator Taps Affirmed and Metaswitch to Enable VoWiFi Services
New Zealand’s third largest mobile operator, 2degrees, is making it easier for customers to stay connected with the introduction of Wi-Fi calling. 2degrees’ mobile network covers 98.5% of places people live and work in New Zealand. As for any mobile provider, maintaining strong cellular coverage inside homes and office buildings can be problematic. But for a provider serving New Zealand, the country’s dramatic terrain creates additional coverage challenges as signals are weakened by the country’s rugged terrain.
2degrees is the latest mobile operator to recognize the value that cloud native technologies can play in enhancing the customer experience while increasing the efficiency of the network. Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) allows customers to call and message from their mobile phones using a Wi-Fi connection, even when they are outside a mobile coverage area.
The Affirmed Factor
Affirmed Networks’ virtualized ePDG (evolved Packet Data Gateway) is a crucial part of the cloud native communications software from Metaswitch, 2degrees’ partner in enabling the Wi-Fi Calling initiative. Metaswitch’s cloud native portfolio delivers immediate cost savings and operational simplicity to meet the opportunities presented by 5G and IoT applications. One of the biggest barriers to bringing Wi-Fi into the core network is the issue of scalability. Untrusted Wi-Fi networks require a high number of IPsec-encrypted sessions that can quickly test the limits of a physical gateway. Affirmed has solved this problem with a highly scalable, virtual ePDG solution that can increase the number of IPsec-encrypted sessions on demand without requiring additional hardware. This enables mobile operators to provide secure access to the network from untrusted non-3GPP IP access networks.
Affirmed Networks not only provides a foundational component for 2degrees’ next-generation Wi-Fi calling, but also helps deliver the benefits of virtual network functions (VNFs) that are inherently designed for cloud environments. Affirmed’s virtualized solution is the simplest path to mobile network transformation, allowing 2degrees to implement new applications more quickly.