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BT Adopts Ericsson’s Dual-Mode Cloud 5G Core for UK Network

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020 (11:12 am) - Score 5,033
5g itu

Telecoms and broadband giant BT (EE) is currently busy building their next generation UK 5G Core mobile network and as part of that they’ve just signed a new deal to harness Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core (Evolved Packet Core and 5G Core) platform, which will also help to underpin their single converged IP network.

Ericsson’s platform is said to deliver “a fully container-based, cloud native Mobile Packet Core for 4G, 5G Non-standalone and 5G Standalone services as a single fully integrated core” network. The solution, when deployed on BT’s Network Cloud, will also incorporate network orchestration and automation, including continuous delivery and integration processes (CI/CD), and be integrated into BT’s existing customer experience management platforms (also based on Ericsson’s technology).

Mobile operators and fixed broadband ISPs have of course been restricted from creating core networks using kit from Chinese firm Huawei, which is one reason why companies like Nokia and Ericsson are now playing a much bigger role in the UK’s core network infrastructure than before.

Speaking of which, BT has just delayed their planned removal of existing Huawei kit from their core network (in 2018 they said it would take 2 years) and this will now not complete until 2023. By this time 100% of their core mobile traffic will be on the new Ericsson kit. The delay is said to reflect the impact from the Government’s new strategy (here), which is set to cost BT around £500m.

Howard Watson, CTIO of BT, said:

“Having evaluated different 5G Core vendors, we have selected Ericsson as the best option on the basis of both lab performance and future roadmap. We are looking forward to working together as we build out our converged 4G and 5G core network across the UK. An agile, cloud-native core infrastructure is at the heart of our ambition to enable the next generation of exciting 5G services for our customers and give the UK the world-class digital infrastructure it needs to win in the future global economy.”

Marielle Lindgren, Head of Ericsson UK and Ireland, said:

“Ericsson and BT have a long history of working together and we are delighted to continue that relationship with this new dual-mode 5G Core deal. … We, at Ericsson, have been in the UK for over a century and delivering the next generation of connectivity here is yet another proud part of our story.”

BT hopes that the new containerization of core network functions will make their network more efficient, reliable and cost effective. The operator added that Ericsson’s 5G Core “will help BT to create and deliver new services such as enhanced mobile broadband, network slicing, mobile edge computing, mission critical vertical industry support and advanced enterprise services.”

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
12 Responses
  1. The Facts says:

    What happened to System Y?

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      What does that have to do with the BT/EE mobile network? On the fixed line side System X/Y is largely replaced by the 21CN platform and VoIP etc.

    2. Chris Sayers says:

      What is system Y. I have only heard of 21CN platform, I would be interested to know.

    3. MartinConf says:

      @Chris Sayers

      System X and System Y are what BT having been using since the 80/90s to run their telephone exchanges. These are being demised in 2025

    4. The Facts says:

      Made by Ericsson.

    5. Ray Woodward says:

      That is going back more than few baking days, it was one of the terms used to define which company manufactured your exchange as touch tone dialling rolled out across the UK.

      You were either System X or System Y.

      Nothing to do with 5G.

    6. Chris Sayers says:

      @MartinConf thank you for the explanation, so Back in the Motorola Independent day’s, I still have one of those kicking about in the Cupboard of relics.

  2. A_Builder says:

    I think this is the right decision anyway.

    General commentary is that the software is better written, better compartmented/modularised and therefore a lot more secure.

    Cheap always has its attractions to the bean counters but quality costs.

  3. Pezza says:

    I don’t know why understand why they need this? Doesn’t EE and BT already have its own 5G network, better be proclaimed as the best of the best of networks despite the fact it’s reportedly slower the the one Three have supposedly built. So where does this use of equipment and cloud based networking fit in the puzzle?

    1. CarlT says:

      The cells have to be connected to something to operate as cells and transport data. That something needs periodic upgrade and refresh.

    2. Pezza says:

      Oh never mind, I’ve properly read the article now and it makes perfect sense, I was going completely off tangent..

  4. Graham Moore says:

    BT took the best years of my life. Summer,Winter, out in the wilderness with only a tapper to communicate, no mobile phones. Men were men in those days!

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