Ooredoo Tunisia will leverage Nokia's AirGile cloud-native core to enable it to transition to 5G service delivery to meet the growing demand for data and video.
According to the partnership, Nokia AirGile will power Ooredoo's current 2G/3G/4G network in preparation for 5G.
In a joint statement, the companies said the new virtualised core infrastructure will harness the scalability, automation and agility afforded with cloud-native network solutions to reduce operational costs; boost the responsiveness of the network to escalating data and video demand, and speed the development of new services for the Tunisian consumer and enterprise markets.
Hatem Mestiri, chief technology officer for Ooredoo Tunisia, said, "Deploying the cloud-native mobile core from Nokia is about preparing Ooredoo to meet future customer demands. It will enable us to be more agile in our response to their needs for everything from video capacity to VoLTE services. And it will enable us to offer them advanced 5G services such as support for industrial automation and IoT as these exciting technologies come to the Tunisian market."
The cloud-native mobile core is expected to make services more affordable and responsive to demand, in terms of both capacity and bringing innovative services to subscribers faster.
The agreement covers cloud-native core which includes VoLTE and Packet Core products; Nokia's engineered Network Function Virtualisation Infrastructure (NFVI), built using Nokia AirFrame cloud infrastructure, Nokia CloudBand cloud management and orchestration stack; and Nokia Nuage Networks' software-defined networking (SDN).
Pierre Chaume, Head of the North and West Africa Market Unit at Nokia, said: "Ooredoo Tunisia is a pioneer in North Africa in moving its core network to the cloud. It will streamline and automate its operations, enable Ooredoo to use software development to speed new services to market, and make it far more responsive to the needs of its consumer and enterprise customers. By also preparing for the transition to 5G, the steps that Ooredoo Tunisia is taking to modernise its network will ensure that it continues to lead in the delivery of advanced services to the Tunisian market."
Ooredoo Tunisia is understood to have 8.8 million subscribers and 40% share of the market.
Data use, excluding voice-only subscribers, has more than doubled over the last four years and is expected to triple by 2025 - driven largely by smartphone adoption and video usage, with a fivefold increase since 2015.