Market insight: Leader in 5G Core? Here's what you need to know

Halfway into 2020, the year of 5G Core and 5G New Radio (NR) standalone, who is the leader in 5G Core? Are there any market announcements to give us guidance? Or any analyst reports to read up on? Yes, there are! We dig into the latest news with Mattias Johansson, Head of Cloud Core Sales Support within Business Area Digital Services to get his reflections.

Person using 5G for AR activity

Solution Marketing Manager

Solution Marketing Manager

Category & Hashtags

Recent 5G Core public announcements

Hi Mattias, tell us, have there been any recent 5G Core contracts for standalone you can share?

Mattias: “For sure, during Q2 2020 Ericsson has further strengthened its leadership within 5G. Just look at some of the recent 5G Core contracts for standalone. Ericsson is now the only non-Chinese 5G Core supplier for Packet Core and Unified Data Management to the world’s largest operator – China Mobile. We are also the 5G Core supplier to China Telecom. Additionally, we are the exclusive 5G Core provider to the BT network in the UK, Telefónica Deutschland and SmarTone Hong Kong.

Are there any key capabilities in Ericsson’s proposition supporting this great momentum?

Mattias; “Absolutely, I think mobile network operators are looking for a cloud-native technology leader and want to team up with a partner that has end-to-end experience and shown proven results from live deployments.

Let me share some numbers. Now, in mid-June 2020, we have 93 5G agreements, 40 live 5G networks on four continents, and 67 5G Cloud Core customer contracts globally. Looking at the standalone introduction, we have 5GC and cloud native contracts with over 25 customers and over 100 ongoing or planned Proof of Concepts and trials. We also have the most mature container-based technology, with commercial live deployments at tier-1 operators already from the first half of 2019.

Based on our cloud native portfolio decision four years ago, we have gained the necessary experiences together with our leading customers. Our cloud native dual-mode 5G Core and unique software deployment model secures outstanding total cost of ownership. Also, with network exposure in 5G Core, we help CSPs to target the emerging 5G business, including enterprises, by levering our open, programmable and high performing core network.

We have a rich ecosystem of CSPs and technology partners, and are leading in 5G R&D innovation. We are collaborating with leading telecom service providers worldwide, more than 40 universities and technology institutes and 30 industry partners.”

How about 5G Core technology leadership, I guess all vendors want to share their “world’s first”?

Mattias: “Yes, a world first is always a hot topic. Fig 1 is a graph I use to explain some of the world’s first from our side. Note here that Ericsson was first with running a cloud native container-based commercial live EPC network with Verizon  for 4G and Telstra for 5G.

Other important events include, for example, KDDI who, together with Ericsson, achieved 5G cloud-native CI/CD software pipeline breakthrough, as well as the Telstra network now being 5G standalone capable end-to-end with Ericsson technology.


World first’s with Ericsson 5G Core and NR SA

Figure 1: World first’s with Ericsson 5G Core and NR SA


Analysts name Ericsson leader in 5G Core

So, the majority of early 5G Tier 1 service providers seem to have no doubt about which vendor is better prepared to lead them in this transformation journey to a cloud native 5G Core, but what are analysts saying? Are there any reports to read up on?

Mattias: “Yes, there are! In May 2020 Glen Hunt, Principal Analyst at GlobalData, summarizes Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core with leader scores in all six categories in his latest 5G Core product assessment. Fig 2 shows GlobalData’s view of Ericsson dual-mode 5G Core leadership compared to a product class average.

GlobalData product assessment report: Ericsson dual-mode 5G Core

Figure 2: GlobalData product assessment report: Ericsson dual-mode 5G Core

Additionally, Ericsson is a “top Wireless Packet Core supplier, and its 5G Core readiness” is highlighted in this blogpost by industry analyst Dave Bolan, Research Director,  Mobile Core Network at Dell’Oro Group


Get your free copy

Thank you for reading this post. Below is a complimentary copy of the complete GlobalData - Ericsson dual-mode 5G Core Product Assessment report.

Download report


Learn more about 5G Core

Ericsson 5G Core

Why do you need a 5G Core network and 5G NR Standalone?

Anything you want to know about 5G Core networks?

Mattias Johansson

Mattias Johansson, Head of Cloud Core Sales Support within Business Area Digital Services

The Ericsson Blog

Like what you’re reading? Please sign up for email updates on your favorite topics.

Subscribe now

At the Ericsson Blog, we provide insight to make complex ideas on technology, innovation and business simple.