SoftBank selects Ericsson to deliver cloud native dual-mode 5G Core

SoftBank selects Ericsson to deliver cloud native dual-mode 5G Core

Business news |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

The system, which includes Ericsson Cloud Packet Core, Ericsson Cloud Unified Data Management and Policy, as well as Ericsson NFVI, will play a key role in SoftBank’s operational transformation.

Zero-touch operation, including continuous delivery and integration processes (CI/CD), is made possible through container-based microservice architecture and its automation capabilities.

Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core provides SoftBank with capabilities that enable the development of new 5G use cases for mobile broadband users, as well as for enterprises and industry partners. Ericsson and SoftBank have been continuously collaborating in developing and deploying 5G technologies throughout the Japanese market including 5G RAN and 5G EPC. In May 2019, Ericsson was selected by SoftBank as its primary 5G radio access network (RAN) vendor.

5G Core is a fundamental piece of the 5G network to enhance end user experience, simplify operations, add service agility and improve network capabilities, thanks to its future-proof network architecture. 

The new 5G Core architecture addresses the needs of not just today, but the future, making it possible to digitalize entire societies. Briefly, this new architecture called Service-Based Architecture (SBA), is built using IT network principles and cloud native technology. In this new architecture each Network Function (NF) offers one or more services to other NFs via Application Programming Interfaces (API). Each Network Function (NF) is formed by a combination of small pieces of software code called as microservices. Some microservices can even be re-used for different NFs, making implementation more effective and facilitating independent life-cycle management – which allows upgrades and new functionalities to be deployed with zero impact on running services.

Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core is designed for cloud deployment and comprises Cloud Packet Core, Cloud UDM and Policy and Signaling Controller products. It can help service providers get the most out of cloud native, microservices, user plane performance and more, enabling new ways of achieving challenging business and operational goals, while migrating to a 5G Core.

Keiichi Makizono, Senior Vice President, CIO of SoftBank, says: “Japan is a leading 5G telecom market and together with Ericsson we are building a new platform of innovation for the country. Under our new agreement, we will extend our long-term partnership and provide a high quality and future-proof platform enabling a new wave of innovation for Japanese society.”

Luca Orsini, Head of Ericsson Japan, says: “Ericsson’s cloud native dual-mode 5G Core provides the cutting-edge container-based microservice architecture that will help SoftBank to both develop new business models towards consumers, enterprise and industry partners as well as to move onto the next level of network operational efficiency.”

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