SK Telecom (SKT) and Ericsson have signed a MOU agreement to collaborate on research and development of 5G standalone (SA) core network technology and architecture. The three year agreement focuses on potential enhancements and optimization enabled by cloud native micro-services based design principles. The collaboration is directed at creating a more agile and programmable 5G standalone core network architecture capable of efficiently managing growth through automation and more simplified operations.
“After the successful launch of 5G [non-standalone] network, SK Telecom is preparing to migrate towards 5G [standalone – no LTE dependence] networks to provide the latest and greatest technology and services to its customers,” SK Telecom SVP and head of 5GX Labs Jong-kwan Park said.
“This joint collaboration with Ericsson on the next generation 5G Standalone Core and cloud native principles will not only enable us to introduce new services faster while at the same time improve our operational efficiency but also support higher availability through simplified operation.”
Ericsson head of packet core Peo Lehto added that cloud native micro-services architecture promises to deliver higher degrees of automation and availability, more predictable performance and more robust operations for next-generation mobile networks.
“This will relieve requirements on the infrastructure by allowing better handling of multiple failures, better infrastructure utilization with more flexible and granular scaling, as well as increased rate of innovation with independent life cycles and in-service software upgrade for each service,” he said.
“Ericsson and SKT have been cooperating closely for many years around 5G innovation. With the new MoU we can accelerate the necessary evolution of 5G core networks the profitable introduction of 5G-based services and use cases.”
A three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the companies focuses on possible enhancements and optimization enabled by cloud native micro-services-based principles. The MoU comes as increasing focus is being placed on the need for more agile and programmable 5G standalone core network that efficiently manage growth with automation and simplified operations.
Separately, Ericsson has secured a deal from South Korea’s largest telecom firm KT to implement its forthcoming 5G network as South Korea wireless network operators target 5G launch in April 2019. In addition to 3GPP Release 15 “5G New Radio” hardware and software for KT’s 3.5 GHz Non-Standalone network, Ericsson is facilitating KT to stimulate the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 opportunities to local enterprises on a global scale. In addition to immersive media, KT’s 5G commercialization use case plans covers: smart factories; safety; drones; and connected vehicles.
Many believe that the extensive deployment of 5G networks will boost the adoption of IoT devices that require real time control and low latency. As 5G accelerates the digital transformation in many industries, enabling new use cases in areas such as IoT, automation, transport and Big Data, Ericsson is poised to benefit from favorable growth dynamics. The company is investing heavily in its competitive 5G-ready portfolio to enable customers to seamlessly migrate to 5G.
Jinho Choi, Vice President, Access Network Design, KT, says: “Having worked successfully with Ericsson on 4G LTE, we are pleased to continue that partnership to make our 5G ambitions a reality with Ericsson’s leading 5G technology.
“Korea is one of the most competitive and technology-advanced markets in the world. By taking a global lead to enable nationwide commercial 5G services through commercially available 5G smartphones, KT is demonstrating our commitment to our customers and showing how we can drive a global 5G ecosystem where Korea plays a key role.”
Patrick Johansson, Head of Ericsson Korea, says: “We’ve worked with KT for many years to bring the very best mobile user experiences to its customers. Notably on 5G, we worked closely together to show the world what 5G could do during a major global winter sports event in 2018.
“With 5G we aim to help KT to take their customers’ experiences to new levels, whether through enhanced mobile broadband for mobile subscribers, or helping to make national and global IoT and Industry 4.0 opportunities a reality for enterprises and industries.”