TIM with Google and Ericsson will launch first ‘5G Cloud Network’ in Italy
Gruppo TIM, along with its Noovle subsidiary, has started creating the first ‘5G Cloud Network’ in Italy. The solution will lead to faster deployment of the 5G digital applications through the automation of industrial processes and the implementation of services in real time, thanks to EDGE Computing, based on specific requirements. The project will use TIM’s Telco Cloud infrastructure, Google’s Cloud solutions and Ericsson’s 5G Core network and Automation technologies.
- TIM did not disclose any implementation details, e.g. containers (with or without kubernetes) or virtual machines, type of cloud service and configuration, APIs, etc.
- The 5G core network, as defined by three 3GPP specifications, utilizes cloud-aligned, service-based architecture (SBA) that spans across all 5G functions and interactions including authentication, security, session management and aggregation of traffic from end devices. The implementation method, e.g. containers, virtual machines/network functions, etc are not specified.
- ITU-T has no serious work underway for 5G Core network, even though they are supposed to be responsible for all 5G/IMT 2020 non-radio recommendations/standards.
- TIM also did not disclose availability date(s) for their 5G Core network, locations in Italy that can access it, or 5G endpoint devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets, etc) compatible with it.
At the start of March 2020, TIM and Google announced a new partnership covering cloud and edge computing services, building on an MoU they signed back in November 2019. In line with the rapidly expanding cloud market, TIM said at the time that it would aim to generate €1 billion from cloud services by 2024.
In early 2021, TIM acquired 100% of cloud specialist Noovle, intending for the unit to ultimately operate TIM’s 17 Italian data centers. Since its launch, Milan based Noovle has been working on innovative technological solutions to improve services across various areas, such as the provision of virtual IT infrastructures, remote working, customer experience and Artificial Intelligence.
TIM says their 5G cloud solution offers businesses – e.g. those in the automotive and transportation sector – integrated innovative solutions capable of improving the efficiency of logistics and production processes, acting in collaboration with software developers. The ‘5G Cloud Network’ will be available close to companies’ premises, based on the customer’s specific requirements, in order to ensure the lowest latency possible. It also optimizes the network service implementation time and related costs.
TIM says their 5G Cloud Network is in full compliance with data protection and in line with the strictest sector standards (not disclosed how this is done and there are no sector standards for 5G data protection/security). Earlier this month, Italy created a national agency responsible for fighting cyber attacks, as it presses ahead with plans to create a unified cloud infrastructure to increase security for public administration data storage. According to Reuters, the new Italian cyber-security agency unifies under the prime minister’s authority many aspects of digital security which are currently dispersed among several ministers and state bodies.
Companies that intend to adopt 5G services and connectivity will be able to use the ultrabroadband radio network (RAN) in conjunction with the ‘5G Cloud Network’ without needing to build the physical infrastructure of the core network at their logistics or production sites.
3 thoughts on “TIM with Google and Ericsson will launch first ‘5G Cloud Network’ in Italy”
The move of TIM towards Google was very clear, as it gives them the entire 5G virtualization affairs.
TIM owns about a dozen data centers and acquired the Noovle team to manage the cloud [1.]. I believe that for the Edge computing Google will also have a dominant role.
TIM is a shadow of what it was 20 years ago. It is almost gong out of the stock exchange [2.].
1. TIM will entrust Noovle with the task of building six new Data Centres specialised in the provision of public and hybrid cloud services, with TIER IV certification, and managing seven Core Data Centres and four service centres, already in operation, for the widest range of IT solutions, located across the country, from which TIM’s Cloud, hybrid Cloud and Multicloud services are provided. A cutting-edge infrastructure that will cover a total area of over 50,000 square metres nationally by 2022, with a capacity of up to 100 MW of usable IT power, closely integrated with TIM’s primary fibre optic network to ensure a structural reduction of interconnection latency between services.
2. Telecom Italia shares are currently quoted on the Milan Stock Exchange. They were quoted on the New York Stock Exchange (by means of ADR) till July 5 2019. After that they were delisted from the NYSE.
Ericsson and Vodafone deploy 5G Core Standalone for precommercial operation in Spain
The 5G Core Standalone solution will enable Vodafone to unlock the full potential of 5G, and represents a critical milestone to deliver 5G Standalone connectivity services in Spain.
Vodafone Spain has selected Ericsson as their technology partner to deploy the first precommercial network 5G Core Standalone (SA) in Spain and will support their entire cloud-native 5G Core for standalone 5G network applications included in this launch. Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core will allow Vodafone to develop and test new use cases leveraging the characteristics of 5G standalone technology, enabling their customers to experience 5G’s full potential.
The simplified SA architecture in RAN and the devices, together with streamlined operations and combined with the new network capabilities from 5G, will bring 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 as well as previous generations for optimized footprint and TCO efficiency.
The solution provides full integration and interoperability with current Vodafone’s network. It also provides interworking with Vodafone’s existing Evolved Packet Core (EPC), Vodafone CDR Repository and Ericsson User Data Consolidation solution, with the aim to provide 4G/5G services interoperability for seamless experience to Vodafone Spain users.
Luisa Muñoz, head of Digital Services, Ericsson Iberia, says: “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. With 5G Core SA, we’re taking 5G to the next level in Spain. 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.”
Julia Velasco, Network Director, Vodafone Spain, says: “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 demand.”
“The goal here is to work with the carriers,” explained Sunay Tripathi, Google’s new director and head of products for telecom and the “distributed cloud edge.”
Tripathi, who spoke at a 5G Future Forum event here, typified the new trend: He cut his teeth at Sun Microsystems before helping to found software-defined networking company Pluribus Networks. For the past three years, he was the CTO of Deutsche Telekom’s MobiledgeX. According to his LinkedIn profile, he joined Google in July. “We are rearchitecting a lot of the underlying network, and that creates a lot of opportunity,” Tripathi explained.
Google, Microsoft and Amazon have long played in the telecom industry as software, IT and cloud suppliers. And like most modern enterprises across all industries, mobile network operators have increasingly pushed their IT operations into the public cloud.
But during the past two years, Google, Microsoft and Amazon have all begun developing cloud computing products specifically designed to host wireless providers’ network functions. Whether it’s Microsoft’s Azure for Operators or Google’s Anthos for Telecom, it’s intended to get network operators to put their crown jewels – their core network functions – into a hyperscale cloud.
And it’s something all three cloud companies are serious about, judging from their telecom hiring sprees or their acquisitions in the space. Microsoft, for example, last year spent an estimated $1.8 billion buying longtime telecom vendors Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch Networks.
New ideas and new disruption
According to analysts, the entry of the public cloud hyperscalers represents a major new strategic turn in the industry, considering network operators have historically retained tight control over their networking systems. And though most have been moving toward cloud technologies they own and operate, few have agreed to run their networking software in a public cloud operated by a hyperscaler.
“In outsourcing the infrastructure to cloud providers, telcos risk losing control of different aspects of their network and technology roadmap over the long term,” warned analyst Frank Rayal of Xona Partners in a post to his website titled “How telcos outsourced their brains.”
Nonetheless, there are increasing indications that operators around the world are more than open to the idea. “The technologies that we will build [with the cloud] will let others consume our network,” explained Luciano Ramos, SVP of network development, planning and engineering for Rogers Comunications in Canada.
Indeed, AT&T recently announced it would transition its 5G core network operations into Microsoft’s cloud over the next three years. And Dish Network plans to run all of its network operations in the Amazon Web Services cloud.
According to Rakuten’s outspoken mobile chief, Tareq Amin, it’s ultimately necessary. He said he designed Rakuten’s mobile network in Japan to natively run in the cloud, and that it required a major shift in his team’s thinking. “I wanted to pick the right mentality” when staffing up Rakuten Mobile, he said. “It was easier to deploy cloud because the Rakuten people wanted to be open to new ideas,” he said. “They were open to new ideas and new disruption.”
Amin made his comments during a keynote address at the MWC LA show here. He made sure to point out that Rakuten Mobile in Japan now counts around 5 million customers, and boasts leading network metrics. It was essentially Amin’s victory lap after announcing his plan to build such a network just a few years ago, at the MWC Barcelona show in 2019.
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