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Swisscom, Netscout and Ericsson unveil 5G packet data processing in the cloud

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Ericsson, Swisscom and Netscout have launched a solution that enables data-processing and network function monitoring in the cloud.

Hailed as an industry first, the solution provides automatic access to packet data and the ability to analyse raw packet data, overhauling the traditional virtualised mobile network function where data traffic is routed from the cloud and processed physically in a conventional manner.

Instead, cloud-based packet data processing and network function monitoring are enabled which in turn increases network service assurance, analytics and cybersecurity.

“Swisscom, Ericsson, and Netscout have addressed the industry challenge of providing end-through-end visibility in 5G networks handling cloudification and encryption," said Martin Bürki, managing director Switzerland, Ericsson.

"With this visibility, Swisscom can now assure the delivery of new and existing innovative mission-critical services with 5G.”

The solution has been rolled out across Swisscom’s TLS-encrypted 5G network and integrates Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core with built-in software (SW) probes and Netscout’s vSTREAM.

Ericsson’s SW probe is a built-in virtual network probe solution for cloud native architecture that’s designed to enable the monitoring and troubleshooting of cloud native functions (CNFs) and provide data streams for analytics.

It provides two data sources: virtual tapping (vTap) and event reporting. The vTAP makes packets available to third-party instrumentation like Netscout’s vSTREAM, which turns the packet data into smart data extensible to service assurance, analytics and cybersecurity – providing actionable intelligence for operations and engineering.

The event reporting provides metadata content on signalling procedures ready to be used for monitoring and troubleshooting purposes.

“To improve the user experience and offer new and enhanced services, we needed a network that offers faster and more reliable access," said Michael Berger, director of SRE & tooling, Swisscom.

"As part of our 5G journey, we chose to work with best-of-breed partners to future-proof our architecture, simplify our operations, and improve our ability to innovate. We have worked closely with our partners Ericsson and Netscout to drive this solution forward. Swisscom is thus ensuring the quality of the network for Switzerland, which will optimise the network and, consequently, the performance of services.”