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Omnitel Vodafone 3G Wireless Network, Italy

Key Data

Omnitel Vodafone, one of the largest mobile phone providers in Italy, began the construction of a new 3G wireless network in 2001. The company gave the initial three-year planning, design and infrastructure construction contract worth €150 million to the Finnish telecoms company Nokia to provide their well-proven technology in the Nokia 3G network solution.

The Nokia package for Omnitel Vodafone includes the entire 3G mobility core network, which encompasses packet switched and circuit switched elements and related support services. In addition, Nokia have supplied the required 3G Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment which will allow Omnitel Vodafone to offer a step-wise introduction of services as the market and user needs evolve. To this end Omnitel Vodafone and Nokia established a service creation facility for 3G application development in Milan, which was complemented by a technology centre to test the evolution of 3G technology and equipment.

Omnitel had been pre-eminent in the Italian market offering mobile telecoms services since 1995 to over 16 million subscribers, but in early 2000 the company was acquired by the UK company Vodafone who were seeking to expand into Europe to extend their 'roaming capabilities' for 3G voice and data services. The Omnitel Vodafone 3G network with Wideband Code-Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) technology entered service on the 900MHz / 1,800MHz frequency bands in May 2004.


Omnitel Vodafone gave a contract to Nortel Networks of Hong Kong in June 2001 to supply wireless Internet infrastructure and services for their 3G Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network. The Nortel Network Solutions use the company's 'wings of light' strategy which combines optical, wireless and Internet Protocol (IP) to provide a reliable, high-speed wireless broadband Internet service across the network.

The equipment installed for this area of the network includes: Nortel Network's e-mobility internet base transceiver stations (BTS) for wide area radio coverage; packet-based core networks with Nortel Network's Passport multi-service switches; Nortel Network's Preside services management; Nortel Network's Shasta 5000 Broadband Service Node (BSN); and Nortel Network's Alteon Web switching.


Omnitel Vodafone, in an effort to make their new 3G network future proof by safe guarding availability requirements and capacity demands for high-speed data services, gave a three-year contract to Marconi in 2002 to provide a 12,000km dark fibre optical transmission network (Transmission Backbone project). Marconi provided and installed more than 300 Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) optical systems, a technology that dramatically increases the data capacity of each optical fibre.

These systems, which are a hybrid technology from Photonics Line Terminals (PLT), Photonics Line Amplifiers (PLA) and Photonics Line Add/Drop (PLD), are able to support 2.5Gb/s and 10Gb/s signals from high bandwidth traffic, with a maximum capacity of 80 x 10Gbit channels. Marconi will provide the company with an integrated range of Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) ring terminals, a DWDM line system based on Marconi PLx80 systems to connect the main Italian cities, optical cross connects, integrated network management, installation and training, together with network maintenance and full, unequivocal technical support. Omnitel Vodafone hopes to save costs by using their new dark fibre optical network rather than the previous leased lines.


Omnitel Vodafone has also given a contract to XACCT Technologies, a leading network data management platform for global communications service providers. They have deployed XACCTmobile, a business platform for mobile operators who want to offer value-based mobile data services over General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and IP networks.

XACCTmobile is a software solution that combines multi-source, multi-layer data collection and enhancement systems with transactional account provisioning on a single platform. It allows service providers to capture and transform raw network usage data from GPRS, UMTS, and IP networks into the actionable business information needed for billing, churn reduction, fraud prevention, service level verification and customer services. XACCTmobile is based on XACCT Technologies 'Network-to-Business' (N2B) platform.