SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom announced that they signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to jointly develop a telco-specific Large Language Models (LLMs) that will enable global telecommunication companies (telcos) to develop generative AI models easily and quickly. The LOI signing ceremony took place at SK Seorin Building located in Seoul with the attendance of key executives from both companies including Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT, Chung Suk-geun, Chief AI Global Officer of SKT, Tim Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, Claudia Nemat, Board Member Technology and Innovation of Deutsche Telekome, and Jonathan Abrahamson, Chief Product and Digital Officer of Deutsche Telekom.
SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom to Jointly Develop Telco-specific LLM
This marks the first fruition of discussions held by the Global Telco AI Alliance, which was launched by SKT, Deutsche Telekom, E&, and Singtel, in July 2023, and lays the foundation to enter the global market. SKT and Deutsche Telekom plan to collaborate with AI companies such as Anthropic (Claude 2) and Meta (Llama2) to co-develop a multilingual – i.e, German, English, Korean, etc. – large language model (LLM) tailored to the needs of telcos. They plan to unveil the first version of the telco-specific LLM in the first quarter of 2024.
The telco-specific LLM will have a higher understanding of telecommunication service-related areas and customer’s intentions than general LLMs, making it suitable for customer services like AI contact center. The goal is to support telcos across the world, including Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, to develop generative AI services such as AI agents flexibly according to their respective environment. That will enable telcos to save both time and cost for developing large platforms, and secure new business opportunities and growth engines through AI innovation that shifts the paradigm in the traditional telecommunications industry. To this end, SKT and Deutsche Telekom plan to jointly develop AI platform technologies that telcos can use to create generative AI services to reduce both development time and cost.
For instance, when a telco tries to build an AI contact center based on generative AI, it itself will be able to build one that suits their environment more quickly and flexibly. In addition, AI can be applied to other areas such as network monitoring and on-site operations to increase efficiency, resulting in cost savings in the mid- to long-term.
Through this collaboration, the two companies will proactively respond to the recent surge in AI demand from telcos, while also promoting the expansion of the global AI ecosystem through the successful introduction of generative AI optimized for specific industries or domains.
“AI shows impressive potential to significantly enhance human problem-solving capabilities. To maximize its use especially in customer service, we need to adapt existing large language models and train them with our unique data. This will elevate our generative AI tools,” says Claudia Nemat, Member of the Board of Management for Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom.
“Through our partnership with Deutsche Telekom, we have secured a strong opportunity and momentum to gain global AI leadership and drive new growth,” said Ryu Young-sang, CEO of SKT. “By combining the strengths and capabilities of the two companies in AI technology, platform and infrastructure, we expect to empower enterprises in many different industries to deliver new and higher value to their customers.”
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Deutsche Telekom (DT) has partnered up with AWS and VMware to demonstrate what the German network operator describes as a “globally distributed enterprise network” that combines Deutsche Telekom connectivity services in federation with third party connectivity, compute, and storage resources at campus locations in Prague, Czech Republic and Seattle, USA and an OGA (Open Grid Alliance) grid node in Bonn, Germany.
The goal is to allow customers to book connectivity services directly from DT using a unified interface for the management of the network across its various locations.
The POC demonstrates how the approach supports an optimized resource allocation for advanced AI based applications such as video analytics, autonomous vehicles and robotics. The demonstration use case is video analytics with distributed AI inference.
The global enterprise network integrates Deutsche Telekom private 5G wireless solutions, AWS services and infrastructure, VMware’s multi-cloud telco platform, OGA grid nodes and Mavenir’s RAN/Core functions. Two 5G Standalone (SA) private wireless networks deployed at locations in Prague, Czech Republic and Seattle, USA are connected to a Mavenir 5G Core hosted on AWS Frankfurt Region leveraging the framework of the Integrated Private Wireless on AWS program. The convergence of the global network with local high-speed 5G connectivity is enabled by the AWS backbone and infrastructure.
The 5G SA private wireless network with User Plane Function (UPF) and RAN hosted at the Seattle location, is operating on the VMware Telco Cloud Platform to enable low latency services. The VMware Service Management and Orchestration (SMO) is also deployed in the same location and serves as the global orchestrator. The SMO framework helps to simplify, optimize and automate the RAN, Core and its applications in a multi-cloud environment.
To demonstrate the benefit of this approach, the deployed POC used a video analytics application where cameras were installed at both Prague and Seattle locations and connected through a private wireless global enterprise network. Using this approach, operators were able to run AI components concurrently for immediate analysis and inferencing. This helps demonstrate the ability for customers to seamlessly connect devices across locations using the global enterprise network. Leveraging OGA architectural principles for Distributed Edge AI Networking, an OGA grid node was established on Dell infrastructure in Bonn facilitating seamless connectivity across the European locations.
“As AI gets engrained deeper in the ecosystem of our lives, it necessitates equitable access to compute and connectivity for everyone, everywhere across the globe. Multi-national enterprises are seeking trusted and sovereign compute & connectivity constructs that underpin an equitable and seamless access. Deutsche Telekom is excited to partner with the OGA ecosystem for co-creation on these essential constructs and the enablement of the Distributed Edge AI Networking applications of the future,” – Kaniz Mahdi, Group Chief Architect and SVP Technology Architecture and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom.
“VMware is proud to support this Proof of Concept – contributing know-how and a modern and scalable platform that aims to offer the agility required in distributed environments. VMware Telco Cloud Platform is suited to deliver the compute resources on-demand wherever critical customer workloads are needed. As a founding member of the Open Grid Alliance, VMware embraces both the principles of this initiative and the opportunity to collaborate more deeply with fellow alliance members AWS and Deutsche Telekom to help meet the evolving needs of global enterprise customers.” – Stephen Spellicy, vice president, Service Provider Marketing, Enablement and Business Development, VMware
AWS Integrated Private Wireless with Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, Orange, T-Mobile US, and Telefónica partners
Deutsche Telekom said it has deployed its fiber optic network in more than 140 of the 179 municipalities covered by its agreement with the “gigabit region” of Stuttgart. The German network operator has developed its network in the districts of Boeblingen, Esslingen, Goeppingen, Ludwigsburg and Rems-Murr districts.With ongoing expansion efforts at over 58 construction sites, the company is making significant progress, particularly in nine districts in Stuttgart, according to the statement from the company.
Since 2019, Telekom has accounted for more than 90 percent of the growth in fiber optic infrastructure. As the sole company expanding into both rural and urban areas, Telekom has established itself as a reliable partner, delivering on all construction projects and cooperation agreements, according to the broadband officer of the region and managing director of Gigabit Region Stuttgart (GRS).
In Ludwigsburg and Esslingen alone, Telekom has already been awarded contracts for 76 funding projects. The recent collaboration with Stadtwerke Nuertingen serves as a prime example of Telekom’s cooperative efforts.
Currently, approximately 30,000 households in expansion areas under this partnership can already subscribe to Telekom’s fibre optic connections. The long-term goal is to enable 185,000 households within cooperative areas with municipal utilities to choose their preferred communication provider for fibre optic connections by 2030.
The combined efforts of self-expansion, collaborations, and subsidized projects have granted around 335,000 households throughout the region access to the fibre optic network, Telekom said.
The core focus of the gigabit project is to expand the ultra-fast fiber optic network through strategic partnerships. Currently, 177 municipalities, including Stuttgart and the neighbouring districts of Boeblingen, Esslingen, Goeppingen, Ludwigsburg, and Rems-Murr, are participating in the expansion program.
The project aims to provide 50 percent of households, all companies, and schools with fiber optic connectivity by 2025. By 2030, the target is to achieve 90 percent household coverage. With a population of approximately 2.8 million in the conurbation, other companies in the Stuttgart region are also actively involved in fiber optic expansion initiatives said Telekom.
Telekom includes provisions for rapidly expanding the performance of its 5G network. Presently, almost 95 percent of households can already access 5G in Telekom’s mobile network, while over 99 percent of the population can utilize 4G/LTE connectivity.
Significance of DT Tower Sales:
Deutsche Telekom said proceeds from the sale of its tower business helped reduce net debt excluding leases by over 10 billion euros compared with the end of 2022, to 93 billion euros. The transaction was also the main factor behind the near quadrupling of net profit, to 15.4 billion euros, compared with the same period last year, the company said.
Deutsche Telekom had agreed in July 2022 to sell 51% of its tower business in Germany and Austria to a consortium of Canada’s Brookfield and U.S. private equity firm DigitalBridge after they made a surprise last-minute bid that valued the unit at 17.5 billion euros ($17.5 billion).
Deutsche Telekom (DT) announced a new campus network solution for business customers. The new service, named “Campus Network M with Industrial Frequencies,” will offer business customers all the benefits of a private 5G network — without the need for additional investments in their own 5G SA core network.
- New Deutsche Telekom business customer offer enables cost-effective use of own 5G industrial frequencies in the 3.7 to 3.8 GHz range
- Solution combines advantages of public and fully private mobile networks for industrial applications
- Successful pilot with German machine manufacturer Arburg. The commercial launch followed successful tests in the 5G Campus network of the injection molding machine manufacturer Arburg in January 2023.
- Based on a 5G campus infrastructure within Telekom’s public network, with the new product companies can additionally use their own 5G industrial frequencies in the 3.7 to 3.8 Gigahertz (GHz) range exclusively.
The new DT solution is based on the existing business customer product “Campus Network M”. This is a so-called dual-slice campus network, which is operated via the public 3.6 GHz frequency range in Telekom’s 5G network. It combines the strengths of the public 5G network with the exclusivity of a virtual private network. This means that, on the one hand, companies benefit from optimal and stable coverage via Telekom’s public 5G network – for example, for employees, suppliers or customers. On the other hand, mission-critical data traffic, for example from machinery, runs separately by a virtual private network and can also be prioritized.
The new Campus-Network M product with industrial frequencies goes one step further. Without building additional infrastructure and the associated costs, companies benefit from the exclusivity of the local 5G spectrum in the 3.7 to 3.8 GHz range. Other than Telekom’s public 3.6 GHz spectrum, these 5G frequencies are specifically made available by the German Federal Network Agency for industrial purposes. Previously, to use these purely private frequencies companies would need to install their own 5G core network infrastructure on site. With the new solution, however, business customers get their own core network components within the Telekom network. Critical data thus continues to run separately from the public network – at high bandwidths and without being influenced by public data traffic. With considerable cost synergies through shared components, the customer therefore receives an additional purely private campus network.
The new offering enables the use of exclusive SIM cards for connected devices and guarantees full private 5G network performance with download speeds of up to 1GBit/s. At the same time, public 5G coverage is fully available. This provides customers with two 5G frequency bands and a total of around 190 MHz of bandwidth.
“Our new 5G Campus network offering enables our customers to digitalize and optimize their business in a smarter way. By integrating their own spectrum into local 5G networks in a cost-efficient way, companies now get additional and exclusive 5G bandwidth for their digital applications,” says Hagen Rickmann, Managing Director responsible for Business Customers at Telekom Deutschland GmbH. “In this way, our pilot customer Arburg is already benefiting from the huge potential of private 5G performance for smart manufacturing – and is thus living up to its reputation as pioneer in the fields of production efficiency and digitalization.”
In order to use the industrial frequencies, the machines at the Arburg Customer Center in Lossburg were equipped with special routers and exclusive SIM cards. Separated from the public data traffic, Arburg can thus test innovative applications such as automated production processes. Furthermore, at the customer center, clients from the various plastics processing industries, such as the automotive, electrical and packaging industries or medical technology, can test digital manufacturing concepts based on 5G.
“By integrating Deutsche Telekom’s new 5G Campus solution, we are leveraging synergies and kick-starting the next stage when it comes to digitalization for the efficient production of plastic products,” says Jürgen Boll, Managing Director Finance, Controlling and IT at Arburg. “Without any additional structural measures, we were able to build on the existing campus network and can benefit from even more 5G bandwidth for the digitalization of our machines and systems with our own 5G industrial frequencies.”
Image Credit: Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom’s campus network portfolio:
Deutsche Telekom has been offering campus network solutions for companies since 2019 and currently operates more than thirty of these local mobile networks based on 5G or LTE across Germany. The offering ranges from locally reinforced public mobile service on company premises to the company’s own private campus network based on 5G standalone technology. Further information for business customers is available at www.telekom.de/campus-netze.
Deutsche Telekom plans to deploy more small cells to solidify its 5G network, the company said in a podcast. The carrier explained that small cells improve the quality of the network in areas of high density, such as train or bus stations, markets or shopping arcades.
In late December, Deutsche Telekom said it would repurpose approximately 3,000 old public payphones as 5G small cells by 2025. They will have a range of a few hundred meters and will serve city centres and pedestrian zones using the 3.6 GHz frequency band. Telekom said its 5G small cells serve a 200-metre radius.
Telekom already uses phone box small cells for LTE networks on the 2.6GHz frequency, but will start a 5G rollout using the 3.6GHz band in 2023, having completed a pilot phase.
Telekom stressed its enthusiasm for designs that “fit in with the urban landscape, either by standing out with a decorative design or by harmoniously blending into their surroundings”. The latest roll out of phone box small cells will see 5G connectivity with little to no visual impact on German streets.
Telekom has partnered with Swiss network equipment vendor Huber+Suhner on small cells since 2019, using them to densify its 4G network across a number of German cities. The Huber+Suhner kit is installed in existing street furniture — including phone boxes — operating over a range of frequencies from 1.7GHz to 4.2GHz. When the deal was signed, then-Chief Technology Officer Walter Goldenits said that small cells would form an “important component of our expansion strategy”. He added that the Swiss vendor’s equipment can be converted to support 5G networks “in a few easy steps” (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #87). With this latest phone box small-cell rollout, it appears that this option has not been taken.
© Deutsche Telekom AG
Deutsche Telekom Technik, the operator’s German network deployment and management unit, has been trialling street-level 5G small-cell designs since at least 2019. Then, it highlighted “creative designs” to densify the network, including the use of antenna housings shaped like clocks and birds perching on lampposts.
Wireline and wireless services are delivered today from two distinct technology implementations with separate network cores. 5G WWC standards offer a path to a fully converged broadband access network that integrates wireless and wireline operations on a common 5G Core.
Using these 5G Wireless Wireline Convergence (WWC) standards [1.] in an industry first proof-of-concept, Deutsche Telekom has validated in a lab trial the feasibility of converging the fixed network control plane into a 5G Core to steer traffic from a 5G residential gateway in its Bonn laboratory. The traffic was then routed along the entire wireline access chain to the core network.
Note 1. The GSMA’s 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), the Broadband Forum (BBF) and CableLabs have united to create technical reports and specifications defining the services and systems required to support 5G wireless and wireline convergence (5G WWC) architectures. Their resulting work is detailed within BBF’s TR-456 (Fixed Mobile Convergence / FMC) and CableLabs WR-TR-5WWC-ARCH and rolled-up within 3GPP Release 16 Technical Specification TS 23.316. The IETF have also been engaged in providing guidance around user plane protocol revisions while the IEEE, ITU-T SG15 and Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) have been engaged with timing/synchronization requirements and other service specifications.
The Access Gateway Function (AGF) supporting wireless wireline convergence in a 5G Core
“Convergence will allow us to optimize our network assets and deliver new, differentiated service experiences to our customers regardless of the access used,” says Ahmed Hafez, VP Network Convergence, Deutsche Telekom. „Our tests prove the feasibility of the convergence architecture by controlling residential gateways in our fixed network from a common 5G Core.
It is critical now that the vendor ecosystem implements the standards into their product roadmaps, speeding up the time to market for end-to-end convergent solutions.”
The proof of concept was conducted on a trial system in Deutsche Telekom’s lab environment. For the 5G residential gateway, which provides the connection between the networked equipment within a home or small office to the 5G Core, a Deutsche Telekom developed prototype was used.
5G Core as common core:
Deutsche Telekom (DT) has reportedly received another €20 billion (US$21 billion) offer for its telecom towers business, this time from a consortium of three private equity firms – KKR, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and Stonepeak Partners – according to Bloomberg.
Cellnex has previously confirmed it is bidding for DT’s towers business, with reports suggesting it has teamed up with Brookfield Asset Management to make an offer. And others are interested too, with Bloomberg reporting that Vodafone-owned Vantage Towers could emerge as a bidder, either on its own or with a partner, as could DigitalBridge. DT has been seeking some kind of deal for quite a while, with the German operator’s CEO Tim Hoettges issuing a very clear invite to all interested parties in November last year: At the time, Cellnex, Vantage Towers and Orange’s towers unit, Totem, looked like the leading candidates in terms of being a good industrial fit.
Talking about DT’s tower assets during the online Morgan Stanley European Technology, Media and Telecoms conference on Thursday, CEO Hoettges said he would “love to have an industrial partner and I’m willing to deconsolidate,” reported Reuters, though DT would need strategic influence in any joint venture, particularly related to any future M&A activity. “I prefer an industrial solution, but I always need two to tango… I’m open for partners,” added the CEO.
Europe’s struggling telecom carriers once saw ownership of these network infrastructure assets as a vital part of their business models. Now, under pressure to raise cash and cut the bill for new network investments, they’ve begun to spin off their wireless masts into separate units or sell them outright.
Private equity firms are drawn to telecoms infrastructure because of its ability to generate steady, long-term returns. KKR raised $17 billion for its latest global infrastructure fund earlier this year, while GIP is targeting $25 billion for what would be the world’s biggest pool of capital dedicated to infrastructure investments.
Cellnex, Europe’s biggest mast operator, already jointly owns towers with Deutsche Telekom in Switzerland and the Netherlands. Germany is the only major European market where Cellnex hasn’t been able to build a presence.
DT and Ericsson recently demonstrated an impressive proof of concept implementation: they established connectivity with guaranteed quality of service (QoS) between Germany and Poland via 5G end-to-end network slicing. With an SD-WAN solution from Deutsche Telekom, the data connection can be flexibly controlled and managed via a customer portal. The solution ensures that different service parameters in the network can be operated across country borders. At the same time, network resources are flexibly allocated. This approach is being presented for the first time worldwide. It is particularly advantageous for global companies that operate latency-critical applications at different, international locations.
End-to-end network slicing, which requires a 5G SA core network, is a key enabler for unlocking 5G opportunities. It’s been highly touted to drive business model innovation and new use cases across various industry segments. 5G slicing will enable use cases that require specific resources and QoS levels. Globally operating enterprise are more and more seeing the need for uniform connectivity characteristics to serve their applications in different markets. Some of the latency-critical business applications that demand consistent international connectivity performance are related to broadcasting, logistics, and automotive telematics.
In this trial, the QoS connectivity was extended from Germany to Poland using a 5G slicing setup that is based on commercial grade Ericsson 5G Standalone (SA) radio and core network infrastructure and a Deutsche Telekom commercial SD-WAN solution. The home operator-controlled User Plane Function (UPF) is placed in Poland as the visited country and the entire setup is managed by an Ericsson orchestrator integrated with a Deutsche Telekom business support system via open TM Forum APIs. Combining 5G slicing and SD-WAN technology allows flexible connectivity establishment and control, while traffic breakout close to the application server in visited countries enables low latency.
According to Light Reading, Deutsche Telekom (DT) has already issued a request for quotation (RFQ) to Open RAN vendors and is currently selecting partners for a commercial rollout next year. NEC – a Japanese vendor of radio units (among other things)- and Mavenir -a U.S. developer of baseband software-were mentioned as Open RAN Town participants (and likely DT RFQ respondents). “It is a multivendor setup,” said DT’s Claudia Nemat.
However, there are obstacles that Open RAN must overcome to be widely deployed. In particular, energy efficiency. Deutsche Telekom, along with most other big operators, is determined to reduce its carbon footprint and slash energy bills. Open RAN “is less energy efficient than today’s RAN technology,” Ms. Nemat said. The use of x86 general-purpose microprocessors in virtualized, open RAN deployments seems to be responsible for this inefficiency.
“If you have an ASIC [application-specific integrated circuit] for baseband processing, it is always cheaper than using a general-purpose microprocessor like an Intel processor,” said Alex Choi, Deutsche Telekom’s head of strategy and technology innovation, two years ago.
One option is to use ASICs and other chips as hardware accelerators for more efficient baseband processing. Companies including Marvell, Nvidia and Qualcomm all have products in development for sale as merchant silicon in open RAN deployments. Nemat, noted a breakthroughs with Intel.
“We achieved a reduction of electricity consumption of around minus 30%. For us, that is a big step forward for commercial deployment.”
Light Reading’s Iain Morris, provided this assessment:
Even so, a commercial open RAN deployment involving companies like NEC and Mavenir is hard to imagine. Any widespread rollout of their technologies would mean swapping out equipment recently supplied by Ericsson or Huawei (DT’s current 5G network equipment vendors), unless Deutsche Telekom plans to run two parallel networks. Either option would be costly.
Far likelier is that a 2023 deployment will be very limited. Other operators including the UK’s BT and France’s Orange have talked about using open RAN initially for small cells – designed to provide a coverage boost in specific locations.
A private network for a factory is one possible example. Outside Germany, of course, there may be a bigger short-term opportunity in Deutsche Telekom markets where 5G has not been as widely deployed.
In late June 2021, Deutsche Telekom switched on its ‘O-RAN Town’ deployment in Neubrandenburg, Germany. O-RAN Town is a multi-vendor open RAN network that will deliver open RAN based 4G and 5G services across up to 25 sites. The first sites are now deployed and integrated into the live network of Telekom Germany. This includes Europe’s first integration of massive MIMO (mMIMO) radio units using O-RAN open fronthaul interfaces to connect to the virtualized RAN software.
Ms. Nemat said at the time, “Open RAN is about increasing flexibility, choice and reinvigorating our industry to bring in innovation for the benefit our customers. Switching on our O-RAN Town including massive MIMO is a pivotal moment on our journey to drive the development of open RAN as a competitive solution for macro deployment at scale. This is just the start. We will expand O-RAN Town over time with a diverse set of supplier partners to further develop our operational experience of high-performance multi-vendor open RAN.”
In November 2021, Deutsche Telekom announced it was taking the lead in a new Open lab to accelerate network disaggregation and Open RAN. The German Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is financing the Lab with 17 million Euros and that’s to be matched by approximately a 17 million Euro investment from a consortium under the leadership of Deutsche Telekom (DT).
The lab will furthermore be supported by and working closely with OCP (Open Compute Project), ONF (Open Networking Foundation), ONAP (Open Network Automation Platform), the O-RAN Alliance and the TIP (Telecom Infra Project). Partners and supporters together form the user forum, which is open for participation by other interested companies, especially SMEs, working on applications as well as equipment and development. As an open lab it is built for collaboration within the wider telecommunications community. The i14y Lab Berlin will be the central location and core node of satellite locations such as Düsseldorf and Munich. Other highlights:
- Testing and integrating components of disaggregated networks in the lab to accelerate time to market of open network technology for the multi-vendor network of the future.
- The lab has already started operations at DT Innovation Campus Winterfeldtstraße
- Important foundation for building a European and German ecosystem of vendors and system integrators
A recent Research Nester report predicts a market size of $21 billion for O-RAN in 2028.
Deutsche Telekom said it has expanded its fiber optic network for almost 7,000 companies in 78 cities and communities. Telekom is providing the companies with up to 1 Gbps speeds. The German based telco has connected industrial parks in the municipalities of Ahrensburg, Deggendorf, Lastrup, Lauf, Mainz and Mannheim among others.
Telekom is laying 560 km of fiber-optic networks to carry out the project and to connect the companies. It is using a trenching process to expand its fiber network.
“Telekom is Germany’s digital engine. That is why we are building our network seven days a week, 24 hours a day. In the city as well as in the countryside. We are massively accelerating our roll-out. In the coming year, we will go one better and invest around six billion euros in Germany. By 2030, every household and every company in Germany should have a fiber-optic connection. We will build a large part of this. But our competitors are also in demand,” said Srini Gopalan, Member of the Board of Management of Telekom Deutschland.
He also commented on the new German government’s plans in terms of digitization: “The new coalition is focusing on FTTH as THE technology of digitization. We explicitly welcome this. Faster processes – including for applications and approvals – will also help us to speed up fiber roll-out. We support the digital set off in our country. Digital networks should bring people together. Their roll-out should no longer be stuck in paper files.”
Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom have partnered to deliver a new 5G Standalone (5G SA) private campus network offering, aimed at on-site business communications infrastructure. The new campus network offering is based on a local 5G infrastructure that is exclusively available for the customer’s digital applications. The 5G SA technology works without LTE anchors (as in 5G NSA) and offers all the technical advantages of 5G – even for particularly demanding and safety-critical use cases: fast data transmission rates, maximum network capacity and highly reliable connectivity with low latency.
With the advanced 5G SA technology, Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson support companies from a wide range of industries in developing innovative digital applications and making existing processes more efficient.
The newly offered 5G SA Campus network – powered by the Ericsson Private 5G portfolio – operates completely separated from the public mobile network: all components of the infrastructure from the antennas to the standalone core network to the network server are located on the customer’s premises. This ensures that sensitive data remains exclusively within the local campus network. The local connection of the customer infrastructure also enables particularly simple and fast processing of data via the private network. This standalone 5G architecture of “short distances” is most suitable for supporting business-critical applications that require ultra-short response times in the millisecond range. The 5G SA network operates on frequencies in the 3.7 to 3.8 GHz range that are specifically allocated to the enterprise. Thus, up to 100 MHz bandwidth is available for the exclusive use within the private campus network.
The new 5G private campus network is being launched in Germany under the name “Campus-Netz Private” – and will be offered to business customers in other European countries.
Analysis: It is quite interesting that Deutsche Telekom chose Ericsson as it’s 5G SA Core network vendor, rather than hyper-scalers like Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure who are building 5G SA core networks for Dish Network and AT&T respectively. Amazon also offers its own private 5G network directly to enterprise customers. So does Microsoft which offers Azure private multi-access edge compute. Earlier this year, Fierce Wireless reported that Google did NOT have a private 5G network offering, but was partnering with other companies to offer one.
Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems has partnered with Google Cloud to build and deliver sovereign cloud services to German enterprises, healthcare firms and the public. The two companies say that the goal of this sovereign cloud is to allow customers to host their sensitive workloads while still being able to leverage all the benefits of the public cloud, such as scalability and reliability. The launch of the new Sovereign Cloud for Germany will take place ahead of schedule: Telekom’s business customer arm T-Systems and Google Cloud are launching their new sovereign cloud service in spring 2022. It will be available for all clients, initially out of the Frankfurt Google Cloud Region. Telekom and Google confirmed that they will jointly drive innovation for the cloud, closely aligned with the new German government’s digital plans which aims to build a public administration cloud based on a multi-cloud strategy and open interfaces, as well as meeting strict sovereignty and transparency requirements. To this end, the partners are setting up a Co-Innovation Center in Munich as announced in November 2021. In addition, executive briefing facilities in Munich and one in Berlin will be established for close collaboration with customers.
“Many companies in Germany state that sovereignty matters to them when choosing their Cloud provider. This is particularly important for key sectors such as public, healthcare and automotive,” Höttges said. “That’s why we’re delighted to offer a Sovereign Cloud that addresses additional European compliance requirements.”
In this new joint offering, T-Systems will manage a set of sovereignty controls and measures, including encryption and identity management. In addition, T-Systems will exercise a control function over relevant parts of the German Google Cloud infrastructure. Any physical or virtual access to facilities in Germany (such as routine maintenance and upgrades) will be under the supervision of T-Systems and Google Cloud.
5G SA Campus Network: Full Control & Flexible Deployment:
Customers can adapt their private 5G SA network flexibly according to their own requirements as well as manage it independently: Whether for real-time communication of robots in factories or for connecting automated vehicles on company premises. Customers can prioritize data traffic within their campus network for specific applications as needed.
The mobile network is administered on site via a cloud-based network management portal by the customer’s IT staff – for example, the administration of users, 5G modules and SIM cards to access the 5G-SA campus network or to the machine control system. The closed system is characterized by its particularly high data security and reliability: Due to the redundant architecture of the local core network, the 5G SA campus network continues to function reliably even in the event of an interruption to the cloud-based management portal.
Managed service by Deutsche Telekom:
If business customers decide to deploy their own 5G SA network, Deutsche Telekom analyzes with them the critical business applications and the requirements for the private mobile network. Due to the simplified local infrastructure, the network can be built from planning to the handover to the customer within just three months. Network equipment supplier Ericsson provides the required modern 5G SA technology, while Telekom takes on the planning, deployment, operation as well as maintenance and optimization. Telekom also provides the set-up and updates so that companies can focus on their core business.
“When it comes to digitalization, industry and SMEs need a reliable partner,” says Hagen Rickmann, Managing Director Business Customers at Telekom Deutschland GmbH. “Together with Ericsson, we help business customers in every industry to increase their productivity and exploit their full potential using 5G standalone technology.”
Arun Bansal, Executive Vice President and Head of Market Area Europe & Latin America at Ericsson says: “Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson share a long-standing partnership in innovation, technology and services. Together, we offer secure, reliable and high-performance network solutions tailored to the specific business needs of our customers.”
5G Campus Network Private – Available for testing on site:
Deutsche Telekom has already been offering campus network solutions for enterprises since the beginning of 2019 and by now operates more than ten of such local networks based on 5G non-standalone technology or LTE across Germany. With the new fully private 5G SA Campus network solution, the company is expanding its business customer offering with the next development stage of 5G. The new product is being launched in Germany from now on under the name “Campus-Netz Private” – and is also offered to business customers in further European countries. For interested customers, mobile Campus 5G SA test systems are available to test their own use cases on site.
Use Cases and Industry Verticals:
There is currently a huge drive to get private 5G networks onto factory floors for manufacturing. There are some interesting examples of using IoT technology, feeding information back via high speed wireless connections, and analyzing data with machine learning/AI tools to optimize operations and do new things like predictive maintenance. Ericsson touts several industry verticals as candidates for its 5G private network offerings: Airports, Energy Utilities, Airports, Mining, Manufacturing, Ports, Offshore and Processing.
The drive towards business 5G adoptions is reflected In Ericsson’s Q4 2021 financials, in which private networks for enterprise were cited as one of the key drivers of its 41% YoY jump in profit. Evidently, Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom see a lot of potential in private 5G for industrial applications.