Vodafone and Ericsson launch first SA 5G core

Deployment is “the first SA 5G core” network in Spain

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Ericsson has teamed up with Vodafone Spain to trial the use of what they claim is the first-ever standalone (SA) 5G core.

The collaboration which Ericsson claims will “enable new use cases for the latest 5G technology” will see Vodafone use an Ericsson dual-mode core and a multi-access, cloud-native platform.

Vodafone Spain network director Julia Velasco said the trial was “a critical step towards delivering the full potential of 5G service, as well as being crucial in enabling new and innovative use cases”.

The deployment is “the first SA 5G core” network in Spain according to the operators. Until this point, 5G networks in Spain have mostly been deployed in non-standalone (NSA) mode, wherein 5G network availability was dependent on the underlying LTE network for signalling support.

The provided ‘dual-mode 5G Core solution’, which includes products from Ericsson’s Cloud Packet Core and Cloud Unified Data Management and Policy portfolios, offers a common multi-access and cloud-native platform that supports 5G and previous generations

The deal with the Spanish subsidiary of Vodafone follows similar agreements by Vodafone UK and Vodafone Germany in selecting Ericsson to provide its core standalone solution.

Ericsson Iberia head of digital services Luisa Muñoz added: “After many years of outstanding collaboration between the two companies in the different core technologies, now we have moved forward with the introduction of 5G Core and we’re continuing to support Vodafone on their digital journey.

“With 5G Core standalone, we’re taking 5G to the next level in Spain. 5G Core is a fundamental piece of the 5G network and I’m looking forward to seeing the multitude of opportunities this will open up for mobile users and industries.”

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