Our network | 26 Jul 2023

Vodafone upgrades ‘backbone’ network to create ‘express superhighway’

Vodafone customers are set to enjoy an even better customer experience thanks to a multi-year network upgrade project.

Known as Redstream Evolution, the project focuses on the part of the network that transports all customer data around the country.

It is a critical link between the mobile masts, that connect smartphones, IoT devices and WiFi routers, and the core, which includes technology centres and the ‘brains’ of the Vodafone network.  Without this lightning-fast fibre-optic backbone, it would be impossible for Vodafone to provide connectivity services to any customer. 

Vodafone has begun the process of moving customers off old networks onto Redstream. Mobile and broadband customers are being moved in a phased manner, with the process for business customers beginning in the near future. This is the final stage of the multi-year programme. 

The purpose of Redstream Evolution is to create a better customer experience for all customers, and also to improve the energy efficiency of the network. By converging three previously separate networks (one for consumers, one for broadband and one for business customers) into one, Vodafone is able to deliver more benefits through economies of scale.

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Andrea Dona, Vodafone’s UK Chief Network Officer, said: “The massive growth in data-hungry consumer apps and business services, alongside ever-increasing internet usage, simply cannot be supported by traditional approaches. 

“Data is subject to the same rules as road congestion – if the transport network gets congested, we can’t get where we want to be as quickly as we want to.” 

With more people and things connecting to the network in a variety of different ways, the Vodafone network is becoming increasingly busy – the amount of data being used by mobile customers has increased more than 300% between 2019 and 2023. Meanwhile, millions of new smart devices are joining the network every year, with all the extra traffic that entails. Vodafone UK broadband customers are also growing in number, while more business customers are digitalising their operations. 

Bringing together three networks into a single more streamlined entity means Vodafone’s network investments deliver greater value to the customer today. It also simplifies the process of upgrading in the future.

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Thanks to the way Redstream Evolution has been designed, it will be a much simpler process to scale up the network to meet future demands. And using ‘edge’ and software-defined networking technologies, Vodafone will be able to deliver new services – think automation, augmented reality, content streaming – to business customers in ways that were impossible before.  

“Redstream Evolution modernises this critical link in our Vodafone network, creating a new express superhighway, bringing more than enough capacity to deliver an amazing network experience for customers today, while also staying well ahead of future data traffic demands,” Andrea said. 

“This will be crucial as our home broadband customer base continues to grow, more of our business customers go through digital transformation programmes, and 5G and IoT usage rapidly increases the amount of data we use each day.”

Click here for the full press release.

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