Telefónica set to announce second core tech supplier as it takes broadcasting to the Edge

Spanish incumbent telco announces plans to add another supplier to join Huawei on its official supplier list for 5G-enabling technologies

It may be following the lead of fellow Iberian comms companies in not banning Huawei tech from its networks, but it looks like Spanish incumbent telco Telefónica is spreading its net when it comes to supplying technology for its core network.

According to Spanish business news outlet Expansión, as it addresses the issue of technology to support its 5G network, Telefónica is about to announce a pivot away from relying on a sole supplier, as it did with Huawei for its 3G and 4G infrastructures, and announce a second supplier in 2020.

Sources close to Expansión indicate that potential new suppliers include US firms Affirmed Networks and Mavenir, in addition to the usual suspects of Ericsson and Nokia.

Telefónica has had a close working relationship with Huawei, and in addition to network technology, the operator has worked with the Chinese tech giant on solutions to help enterprises move to the cloud. In 2015, Telefónica engaged Huawei to deploy an OpenStack-based public cloud infrastructure in eight of its datacentres for enterprises to consume cloud-based compute, storage and backup services.

The operator has not commented on the reports, but the move would be consistent with the new far-reaching corporate strategy that Telefónica announced on 28 November.

The news came at the same time as Telefónica announced that it had worked with Spanish national broadcaster RTVE on a pilot programme to make it possible to replace live TV trucks with a connection to Telefónica’s edge network capabilities. The streaming technology provides real-time bandwidth and a low latency of between 3ms (milliseconds) and 5ms, elements that will likely be required by many services and applications such as 8K video and virtual and augmented reality, which will be supported by 5G networks.

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