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Virgin Media O2 Continue with Ericsson for Standalone 5G Core

Monday, July 26th, 2021 (1:52 pm) - Score 1,584
Following the completion of the UK’s largest ever telecoms deal, the Virgin Media O2 logo is forged to celebrate the birth of the new company which brings together Virgin Media, the UK’s fastest broadband provider, and O2, the country’s favourite mobile network with a mission to upgrade the UK.Copyright: © Mikael Buck Credit: Mikael Buck / Virgin Media O2PR Handout – for use in conjunction with this story only.

Mobile operator O2 UK (VMO2) has today, perhaps unsurprisingly, announced that their existing relationship with supplier Ericsson will be extended to include deployment of their “cloud native, container-based dual-mode 5G Standalone Core” network.

At present, existing 5G mobile (mobile broadband) deployments are actually using Non-Standalone (NSA) hardware and systems, which can still deliver impressive mobile broadband download speeds while remaining aided by existing 4G infrastructure. But by adopting a pure end-to-end 5G Standalone (SA) network you can benefit from improvements like ultra-low latency times (fast), network slicing capabilities and more.

The new agreement will thus see O2 bringing its 4G, 5G Non-standalone (NSA) and 5G Standalone services into a single fully integrated Ericsson dual-mode 5G Core hosted on Ericsson cloud infrastructure in VMO2’s data centres. None of this comes as much of a surprise, particularly after last month’s announcement (here).

Jorge Ribeiro, VMO2’s Director of Service Platform Strategy, said:

“This is an exciting time for our award winning network, as we prepare for 5G Standalone. Our teams are already working hard to deliver this infrastructure with Ericsson, who have been a trusted 5G partner since we launched 5GNSA in 2019. The benefits of 5G Standalone are significant as we aim to supercharge the UK’s digital economy, and we look forward to rolling it out for our customers in the near future.”

Most existing Smartphones aren’t currently able to fully support the new 5G SA technology, but that is slowly starting to change and in any case it will take time to rollout.

Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Carl O says:

    They should really be focusing on their current offerings and capacity issues rather than thinking this far ahead. It’s very poor.

    1. André says:

      Well, you could argue that investing in their core network is one of the ways of dealing with capacity issues… 😉

    2. Carl O says:

      They still need the equipment installed for use to the end users. Chester has no carrier aggregation, stuck with band 1 and 20, and even their exec team said they have no immediate plans to improve the coverage or increase capacity. It’s just oversold and under invested.

    3. 125us says:

      Only if you genuinely believe that a company of this size is only capable of doing a single thing at once. Is that what you believe?

    4. Carl says:

      No, it’s wishful thinking. Always profit before anything else.

  2. Leex says:

    Need to actually do 5g (still mostly no 5g on o2 uk wide) Vodafone has 5g so unsure why o2 isn’t getting 5g on same sites

    4g offering is still poor (usually on b20 witch sucks)

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