Vodafone Spain deploys Ericsson 5G Core Standalone for pre-commercial operation

Spanish subsidiary of Vodafone follows UK and German counterparts in selecting Ericsson for core standalone solution to unlock the full potential of next-generation networks

In what is said to represent a critical milestone to deliver dedicated connectivity services in the country, and coming just as its arch rival ramps up the pace of 5G roll-out, Vodafone has selected Ericsson as its technology partner to deploy the first pre-commercial 5G Core Standalone (SA) network in Spain.

The deployment will see the operator support Ericsson’s entire cloud-native 5G Core for standalone 5G network applications. Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core will allow Vodafone to develop and test new use cases leveraging the characteristics of 5G standalone technology. The Swedish communications provider said this would enable its customers to experience 5G’s full potential.

In a bullish expression of confidence in its solutions, Ericsson said its simplified SA architecture in radio access network (RAN) and the devices, together with streamlined operations and the new network capabilities from 5G, would bring no less than “drastic” improvements to mobile networks, including ultra-low latency, improved 5G capacity and greater coverage.

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 for optimised footprint and cost efficiency.

The solution provides full integration and interoperability with Vodafone’s current network. It also provides interworking with Vodafone’s existing Evolved Packet Core (EPC), Vodafone CDR Repository and Ericsson User Data Consolidation, with the aim of providing 4G and 5G services interoperability in a “seamless” experience to Vodafone Spain users.

“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,” remarked Ericsson Iberia head of digital services Luisa Muñoz.

“With 5G Core standalone, we’re taking 5G to the next level in Spain,” she added. “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.”

Vodafone Spain’s network director, Julia Velasco, added: “This pilot is a critical step towards delivering the full potential of 5G service, as well as being crucial in enabling new and innovative use cases. Thanks to our long-standing and close partnership with Ericsson and the 5G Core SA solution, we can support applications requiring the fastest connectivity, highest data rates and lowest latency.”

The deployment of Ericsson technology to Vodafone Spain comes just weeks after the company’s UK subsidiary announced that it was partnering with Ericsson to deploy a new cloud-native dual-mode core for its 5G standalone network.

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