Ericsson and BT have signed a deal to use Ericsson's dual-mode 5G Core – Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and 5G Core – a container-based, cloud native Mobile Packet Core for 4G, 5G Non-standalone and 5G Standalone services, and all as a single, integrated core.
One of the key buzzwords in the telecommunications industry is ‘convergence’, as network operators look for ways to combine legacy frameworks – such as Long-Term Evolution (LTE) – with emerging 5G technology. And they want to manage it all in the cloud. To this end, Ericsson has created its 5G Core product, which allows service providers to manage and expand their network, on demand, using software-based applications instead of today’s physical nodes (this uses network functions virtualization, also referred to as NFV).
“Having evaluated different 5G Core vendors, we have selected Ericsson as the best option on the basis of both lab performance and future roadmap,” said Howard Watson, CTIO of BT. “We are looking forward to working together as we build out our converged 4G and 5G core network across the UK. An agile, cloud-native core infrastructure is at the heart of our ambition to enable the next generation of exciting 5G services for our customers and give the UK the world-class digital infrastructure it needs to win in the future global economy."
Moving to a converged IP network
The solution, delivered on BT's Network Cloud, will form a key component in BT's move to a single converged IP network. And it will incorporate network orchestration and automation, including continuous delivery and integration processes (CI/CD), and be integrated into BT's existing customer experience management platforms.
"Ericsson and BT have a long history of working together and we are delighted to continue that relationship with this new dual-mode 5G Core deal," said Marielle Lindgren, Head of Ericsson UK and Ireland. "We, at Ericsson, have been in the UK for over a century and delivering the next generation of connectivity here is yet another proud part of our story."
The deal is part of a long-standing partnership between the two companies and is a key step in BT's ambition to be a global leader in cloud native technology. The deployment of Ericsson's 5G Core will enable BT to meet the increasing demand for enhanced mobile broadband from its customers, and also opens exciting and innovative opportunities for new 5G use cases, which will emerge as IIoT is enabled by low-latency networks.
According to the announcement: “The Ericsson 5G Core will help BT to create and deliver new services such as enhanced mobile broadband, network slicing, mobile edge computing, mission critical vertical industry support and advanced enterprise services.”
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