Ericsson partners with Juniper, ECI for 5G transport equipment & will buy CENX

Ericsson has selected Juniper and ECI Telecom to provide 5G transport network gear, citing their expertise with optical and packet networks.

Alignment between the radio, core and transport layers of the network has never been more critical to meet the requirements of 5G use cases such as enhanced mobile broadband, fixed-wireless access, and massive and critical IoT. In this environment transport needs to keep pace with the rapid radio and architectural evolution in 5G networks.

With its focus on transport between radio and core functions, Ericsson delivers transport portfolios specifically for backhaul and fronthaul. Ubiquitous transport solutions for both 4G and 5G are gaining strong momentum with service providers and Ericsson’s flagship mobile backhaul product – Router 6000 – empowers close to 60 operators. More than 110 operators also use Ericsson’s 5G-ready microwave technology, MINI-LINK solutions.

Ercsson will use Juniper’s edge and core packet transport technologies (the MX and PTX series platforms) to support connectivity between radio cell sites and an operator’s core network. Ericsson will continue to offer its own Router 6000 and microwave products as packet backhaul options for 5G transport network deployments and will sell Juniper’s SRX Series Services Gateway network security system.   “With Juniper there is no overlap and a good fit,” says Nishant Batra, Ericsson’s global head of network products.

ECI Telecom Ltd. will provide optical transport gear for the metro market for service providers as well as so-called “critical infrastructure” customers of Ericsson.

Ericsson notes that the Juniper and ECI platforms are “fully interoperable with Ericsson’s transport portfolio and will be managed by the same Ericsson management and orchestration solution. This will simplify the overall management and control of 5G across the radio, transport and core network.” It adds that the “management and orchestration solution will also provide integrated software-defined networking (SDN) control for Ericsson, Juniper and ECI nodes, enabling automated network control for applications such as network slicing and traffic optimization, to ensure the best possible user experience.”

“The partnerships help us strengthen areas where we are not building organically,” says Batra. “Instead of making a blanket commitment to be in IP, we have segmented into radio near, core and edge, and it’s the radio-near part we’ll address with our own products.”

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks at Ericsson, says: “Our radio expertise and knowledge in network architecture, end-user applications and standardization work put us in an excellent position to understand the requirements 5G places on transport. By combining our leading transport portfolio with best-in-class partners, we will boost our transport offering and create the critical building blocks of next-generation transport networks that benefit our customers.”


Separately, Ericsson will acquire service assurance firm CENX, saying the company’s closed-loop automation work will be a boon to Ericsson’s virtualization plans.

Mats Karlsson, Head of Solution Area OSS, Ericsson, says: “Dynamic orchestration is crucial in 5G-ready virtualized networks. By bringing CENX into Ericsson, we can continue to build upon the strong competitive advantage we have started as partners. I look forward to meeting and welcoming our new colleagues into Ericsson.”

Closed-loop automation ensures Ericsson can offer its service provider customers an orchestration solution that is optimised for 5G use cases like network slicing, taking full advantage of Ericsson’s distributed cloud offering. Ericsson’s global sales and delivery presence – along with its strong R&D – will also create economies of scale in the CENX portfolio and help Ericsson to offer in-house solutions for OSS automation and assurance.

Ed Kennedy CEO, CENX says: “Ericsson has been a great partner – and for us to take the step to fully join Ericsson gives us the best possible worldwide platform to realize CENX’s ultimate goal – autonomous networking for all. Our closed-loop service assurance automation capability complements Ericsson’s existing portfolio very well. We look forward to seeing our joint capability add great value to the transformation of both Ericsson and its customers.”

CENX, founded in 2009, is headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey. The company achieved significant year-over-year revenue growth in the fiscal year that ended December 31, 2017. CENX employs 185 people.

4 thoughts on “Ericsson partners with Juniper, ECI for 5G transport equipment & will buy CENX

  1. Ericsson expands its 5G portfolio for India; says working with telcos

    Ericsson said that it has launched new hardware and software products under its wireless product portfolio or Radio System portfolio for the Indian market. The addition will allow India telcos to roll out 5G networks in a faster manner once they are ready

    “The reason why 5G is gaining momentum globally and in India is that operators will be able to manage their networks efficiently through a combination of 4G and 5G. Ericsson, with its portfolio of 5G ready Network solutions, is the partner of choice to help operators in India for their seamless migration from 4G to 5G,” Nitin Bansal, Head of Network Solutions for the Market Area South east Asia, Oceania and India said in a statement,

    It recently launched its 5G Innovation Lab at the IIT-Delhi with an aim to build an ecosystem and around the new technology, and bring all stakeholders on one platform to drive innocations.

    In a recent interaction with ET, Ericsson Senior Vice President and Head of Market Area South East Asia, Oceania and India Nunzio Mirtillo said that the company is working with Indian telecom operators to enable 5G use cases such as enhanced mobile broadband.

  2. Qualcomm and Ericsson Conduct First Announced 3GPP-compliant 5G NR mmWave OTA Call with a Mobile Form Factor Device

    Qualcomm and Ericsson announced the successful completion of a 3GPP Rel-15 spec compliant “5G NR” call on a smartphone form factor mobile test device. The over-the-air (OTA) call was performed using millimeter wave (mmWave) in the 39 GHz band of spectrum using NSA (Non-Standalone) mode. It utilized Ericsson’s commercial 5G NR radio AIR 5331 and baseband products and a mobile test device with integrated Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X50 5G modem and RF subsystem in the Ericsson Lab in Kista, Sweden.

    The press release is available on the Qualcomm News Center website at
    Note that this was just a lab demo- not a real product running on a commercial subscriber network with some sort of certification or test procedure in place.

  3. US ‘ahead of the pack’ on 5G says Ericsson

    American carriers are ahead of the race on 5G due to the availability of high-band millimetre-wave (mmWave) spectrum, Ericsson VP and head of 5G Commercialisation Thomas Noren has said.

    During an interview with ZDNet during Mobile World Congress Americas (MWCA) in Los Angeles, Noren said the US has already been able to iron out the technical challenges and found use cases across mmWave sites.

    “I think in general, you could say that the United States is ahead of the pack,” he said.

    Noren said South Korea is also pushing ahead, having showcased its 5G capabilities during the Winter Olympic Games and already auctioned off both its 3.5GHz mid-band and 28GHz mmWave spectrum bands.

    “They have a long tradition of pushing technology, they have very demanding consumers, and they build very dense networks … [but] they don’t have the scale that US operators have, so they can’t drive the ecosystem in the same way,” he argued.

  4. The Ericsson CTO identified enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless as amongst the first 5G bright spots for Ericsson. “The beauty of fixed wireless,” he told Light Reading Thursday, is that it lessens the need for fiber. With wide carriers (radio channels) and narrow beams (i.e., beamforming) — “spotlight beams” as Ekudden calls them — able to deliver multi-megabit to gigabit speeds, high-speed and efficient fixed wireless is now possible, where it wasn’t before, Ekudden said.

    Want to know more about 5G? Check out our dedicated 5G content channel here on
    Light Reading.
    “It’s now financially and technically viable,” the CTO said, particularly as the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 5G New Radio (5G NR) specs make it possible to use the same infrastructure for both fixed and mobile 5G services. According to the CTO, high-band 5G equipment could deliver a high-speed data connection from a small cell sited 200-300 feet from antennas installed at customers’ homes. In this scenario, an operator such as Verizon would save money by serving multiple premises without having to dig up the customers’ front yards for a cable run.

    “I’m not advocating universal build-out of fixed [wireless 5G],” Ekudden hastens to add. “There are fewer operators that are planning for fixed wireless.”

    But in the US, both Verizon and T-Mobile US Inc. have launched — or are planning to launch — 5G home broadband services (using fixed wireless capabilities) along with mobile 5G services. Mobile services are expected in the first of 2019 for T-Mobile, and “sometime” in 2019 for Verizon. (See T-Mobile: 6 of Top 10 US Markets Ready for Our 5G in 2019.)

    Ericsson, like its vendor rivals, is also expecting the Internet of Things to be a massive part of the 5G age: Ericsson is predicting there will be 3.5 billion “cellular IoT” devices in use by 2023. That’s a big number, but not as ambitious as many other predictions seen for 5G and IoT.

    “Most of that number is China,” explains the CTO.

    The low-power, wide-area aspect of 5G can be supported now. Technologies like narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) or Cat M LTE can be used “in-band” in 3GPP-compliant 5G NR deployments. A crucial part of the industry vision for “Critical IoT,” however, won’t be able to be supported until the end of 2019 with NR/Phase 2 (Release 16), which means the earliest commercial equipment will become available sometime in 2020.

    This “ultra reliable low latency” upgrade for Release 16 is crucial for the millisecond latency needed for everything from self-driving cars, to automated product lines, to supporting more sophisicated thin client devices. Like rival Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Ericsson is gearing up for this IoT industrial sector to be a money-spinner for the company in 5G — just not yet. (See Nokia Reveals Future X Network Project.)

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