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

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.”

VoNR is a call service that uses the standalone 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.

Ekow Nelson, vice president at 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 digitalization powered by 5G, high quality and seamless voice calling will become a must-have service for residents across the nation… 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 remarked, “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…”

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.

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