O2 Telefónica and Ericsson renew core network partnership
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O2 Telefónica and Ericsson renew core network partnership

Ericsson building sign

Ericsson and O2 Telefónica in Germany have signed an extension of their network core partnership.

Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core and cloud infrastructure solutions already support mobile connectivity for O2 Telefónica’s 45 million 5G standalone (SA), 5G non-standalone (NSA), 4G and 2G subscribers.

The companies say they will continue to innovate and build functionality in the core network to further future-proof the network.

The new deal underscores O2 Telefónica’s plans to build on the capabilities delivered through its recent cloud-native transformation with Ericsson which modernised its packet core network to be running on Ericsson cloud infrastructure, facilitated the successful rollout of 5G SA, and future-proofed its infrastructure so it may innovate at scale in the years to come.

It now stands ready for the next step in commercialising differentiated connectivity to launch 5G SA network slicing services relying on assured quality of service, rather than a “best effort” connection, and offer network programmability through exposure of network APIs.

Mallik Rao, chief technology and information officer (CTIO) of O2 Telefónica said: “We always want to offer our customers an outstanding network experience by delivering the full value of cloud-native and 5G Standalone to them.

“The core network is the heartbeat for this. With Ericsson, we have embarked on a cloud-native transformation journey and are now going to develop it further by expanding our portfolio and capabilities towards network slicing, automation, and API access.

“For the first time worldwide, we have jointly implemented in-service software upgrades in the containerised user plane at scale. This allows us to roll out new features faster and without temporary maintenance breaks - an important step towards the network of the future.”

In May the two firms completed a world-first In-Service Software Upgrade (ISSU) of network functions in the core network’s user plane in O2 Telefónica’s production network under load, at scale and without service disruption.

A feature of cloud-native architecture, ISSU gives high-performance mobile networks the ability to upgrade software without any service downtime. Mobile customers benefit from an improved network that is always provided with the latest updates in terms of mobile solutions and security, the two said in a release.

Daniel Leimbach, head of the customer unit, Western Europe at Ericsson added: “Our deep partnership with O2 Telefónica in Germany has been a significantly rewarding one from the start.

“Meeting its challenge to deliver a cloud-native core network for its 45 million subscribers while ensuring it was flexible enough to evolve in line with its strategy meant breaking new ground across a range of disciplines.

“We are proud of our joint achievements and that we are reconfirmed as O2 Telefónica’s partner for the core network for the years to come.”

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