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Transforming 4G into 5G: Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Cloud Core

We are evolving our Cloud Core portfolio with seven new products that deliver a dual-mode 5G Cloud Core solution…but what does dual-mode core means? And why do service providers need it for their networks? It’s simple: eventually they will need to launch new services based on 5G NR stand-alone (SA) technology at some point in the near future, but they’ll still need to care for their existing 4G customer base.

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To be first in 5G, first get to the Core 

Mobile data traffic is set to increase by five times by 2024,and 5G is expected to account for 25 percent of that total, making it the fastest generation ever to be rolled out on a global scale. The other 75 percent of traffic will mainly be on 4G networks. Together 4G and 5G will drive business in the coming years with IoT and 5G as main drivers for revenue growth for communication service providers (CSP).  

5G era businesses are going to be quite different. Enhanced Mobile broadband will be the first use case to happen and evolved IoT use cases will follow. Industry digitalization investments will present an astounding revenue opportunity for telecom operators globally but the 5G use cases requiring ultra-low latency and ultra-high capacity will only be achievable with the 5G NR SA and the newly defined 3GPP core network architecture for 5G Core (5GC), a.k.a. Service Based Architecture (SBA). 

As we have seen with 4G, service providers that came first to the market offering this new access technology were the ones capitalizing on most of the new business opportunities. It won’t be any different with 5G.  

Run one core, get two generations 

To be first in addressing the new 5G business opportunities, a service provider will need to start adopting new technologies on their core networks already before rolling out their first 5G NR sites. 

This is where the dual-mode core solution will make the difference,smoothing the path to 5G core networks. 

There are a number of challenges that service providers must deal with while on the path to 5G, from managing the data growth in both 4G and 5G with efficiency, to leveraging from early investments. From reducing network OPEX and operational inefficiencies, to being fast and flexibility to capture new businesses opportunities. 

Service providers’ best bet to evolve their network is a solution that allows them to run all different access generations in a common software platform. The Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Cloud Core solution combines 3GPP NFs from both EPC and 5GC architectures into a common cloud native software platform to support 5G NR Stand-Alone (SA) and Non-Standalone (NSA), 4G, 3G and 2G accesses technologies. With it comes high levels of orchestration and automation for operational efficiency only enabled by a microservices architecture. 

By implementing the dual-mode solution service providers will have more control to migrate to 5G in their own time and in alignment with their business needs. 

 

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One core with endless possibilities 

But the benefits of the Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Cloud Core solution do not stop on the TCO efficiency to run a common-core for all accesses. 

5G promises many disruptive functionalities, such as ultra-low latency communication, high bandwidth/throughput, higher security, and network slicing, all of which have the potential to open up new business opportunities not addressed by service providers today. However, there’s another functionality with equal business potential that’s not always mentioned - and that's network exposure, which can make wayfor new levels of programmability in telecom core networks. 

The 5GC architecture enables fast new service creation and extendibility, using software-based APIs to efficiently configure and connect core network functionality.   

This can potentially change the way service providers interact with the enterprise industry and how they explore new business model opportunities with industries and partners. 

To learn more about Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Cloud Core solution capabilities download the solution description paper today  

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