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Six reasons to select Ericsson’s 5G Core

  • Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core currently powers 50 percent of the world's 5G standalone (SA) networks. By 2022, just three years after its launch in 2019, Ericsson's dual-mode 5G Core had been selected by 80 percent of the 20 largest service providers based on revenue. 
  • In Europe, Ericsson’s cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core is already serving 4G and 5G connectivity to more than 100 million mobile users across 20 live customer networks – we are leading the transition to 5G SA on the continent and globally. 
  • Ericsson is positioned as a leader in 5G Infrastructure by Gartner for the third year in a row. 
  • Ericsson has matured a strong leadership in cloud infrastructure, including several live references of cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core directly on bare metal which provides significant TCO advantage versus deployment of containers in virtual machine.  

Head of Cloud Software and Services MELA

Six reasons to select Ericsson’s 5G Core

Head of Cloud Software and Services MELA

Head of Cloud Software and Services MELA


We deliver in a very competitive market

We are proud of our long heritage as a leading provider of mobile core networks. 

We have established ourselves strategically as a leader in this space through constant innovation and transformation, starting from 2G and moving through generation to 5G.

Currently, we have over 40 live dual mode 5G Core customers worldwide.   In Europe alone, we have 20 live customers utilizing our cloud-native dual mode 5G Core solution, which collectively caters to more than 100 million mobile users. This highlights our commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions that drive value for our customers.  

But what do these leadership figures mean to our customers? It means that you can rely on continued innovation as you progress through your transformation. Let me highlight three recent examples: 

  • In 2022, we launched the first cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core on bare metal infrastructure solution which is now hosting millions of subscribers. This solution provides the best-in-class central processing unit (CPU) utilization and reduced total cost of ownership (TCO). Read about one of our pioneering customers, SKT. 
  • We launched ISSU and container as a service (CaaS) rolling upgrade which assisted CSPs in optimizing lifecycle management and reducing the TCO by efficiently upgrading software to the latest release. Read about our pioneering customers, TPG Telecom and TIM Brazil
  • Ericsson launched its differentiated 5G connectivity toolkit. Read more about the new capabilities across RAN and Core. 

The biggest transformation in the history of core

Up until recently, almost all 5G networks have been utilizing an underlying 4G core network infrastructure in non-standalone (NSA) mode, bringing noticeable, though modest, improvements to connectivity. The transition to 5G standalone (SA) powered by 5G Core (5GC) on the other hand, represents a historic transformation in the mobile networks industry, bringing improvements to connectivity beyond speed and capacity and providing opportunities for not only communications service providers (CSPs) but also industries and enterprises.

The architecture of 5GC enables more dynamic networks, with significant changes such as service-based architecture (SBA), separation of user plane and control plane functions, new network functions, and updated signaling protocols that improve network performance. 5GC networks are automated and the life cycle is managed by implementing IT network principles and a cloud-native design approach.

5GC is not just about faster connectivity; it's a gateway to new business opportunities, advanced industrial applications, and economic growth by laying the groundwork for future mobile use cases and enhancing end-user experience. End-to-end network slicing, enhanced quality of service (QoS) handling, improved security, and edge computing are just some of the key features that will unlock business innovation and new revenue streams for CSPs.

The need to move faster in Europe

Over the next decade, economic value and growth will be increasingly tied to the development of digital infrastructure – an area where Europe has historically lagged other advanced markets including the US and East Asia.

Europe's 5G adoption lags other regions. By mid-decade, it is projected that only 44 percent of all mobile connections in Europe will be based on 5G, in contrast to 73 percent in South Korea and 68 percent in the US and Japan respectively. This will have a direct impact on the growth potential of the European economy, industry development, and job creation.

Accelerating the transition to 5GC will be pivotal to Europe's digital transformation, promising to revolutionize industries and exceed conventional connectivity expectations. With this advancement, Europe is poised not just for a technological upgrade, but for a transformative leap into a new era of digital excellence and economic prosperity.

Six reasons to select Ericsson 5G Core

I am incredibly proud of our work in our core network business over the years. Our pioneering and bold decisions have made us stand out in the industry, as demonstrated by 80 percent of the world’s 20 largest CSPs by revenue choosing us for their 5G Core. Let me highlight six capabilities that demonstrate why choosing us is a smart decision:

  1. Focused on your business growth through end-to-end solutions and collaborations
  2. Committed to delivering the best-performing core networks
  3. Cloud-native leadership and experience with our dual-mode 5G Core
  4. First to achieve efficiencies through the integration of external service functions inside the core platform
  5. Cloud transformation partner, delivering lower risk and TCO
  6. We are where you are—seamlessly connecting local and global expertise

1.  Focused on your business growth through end-to-end solutions and collaborations

Collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and resource optimization are essential for unlocking the full potential of 5G. At Ericsson, we are committed to evolving the 5G ecosystem by partnering with leading service providers, device manufacturers, application developers, hyperscale cloud providers, and businesses in different sectors. By working together, we develop innovative solutions that enable new experiences and greater business opportunities, creating cutting-edge solutions and driving technical innovation.

Network slicing: Moving into commercialization

Ericsson's leadership in network slicing has enabled our customers to strengthen their market position and maximize their investments in new radio and core networks, especially in commercializing and operationalizing 5G standalone (SA) technology. Network slicing enables the integration of mobile networks in a new and efficient way that provides greater control over end-to-end service consumption, creation, and delivery. With several years of development behind us, we have begun commercializing network slicing, and initial use cases have proven successful.

One such use case was the Royal Coronation, which was the UK's first, and undoubtedly one of the most significant 5G SA broadcasting cases.

“Vodafone and Ericsson, together with our partner and customer ITN, did something truly amazing. It was the first commercial slice of a 5G SA network to be used in such a monumental event as the King’s coronation. It was super exciting. I’m happy to say that it was a resounding success from all aspects,”

Andrea Donà,
Chief Network Officer, Vodafone UK

Discover Ericsson’s Voice of 5G podcast.

Together with Far EasTone, we have also shown great examples of innovative ecosystem collaborations, such as the world's first network slicing use case in a live 5G standalone network for the police department with the Smart Patrol Car solution and the industry’s first 5G end-to-end multiple network slicing on multiple Android devices trial. Additionally, the WJS Marathon broadcast showcases how a seamless viewing experience can be achieved with the smooth transmission of live-streaming data.

Read more about Ericsson network slicing and use cases.

2. Committed to delivering the best-performing core networks

Winning benchmarks help CSPs to reach specific market segments, implement effective marketing strategies, justify pricing levels, and establish themselves as superior to competitors. It also allows them to challenge revenue decline and prepare for more complex 5G use cases that will test network performance, reliability, and security—paving the way for long-term success.

As 5G networks become critical infrastructure, network performance, resilience, and trust will be increasingly important.

Building high-performing networks together with our customers has been a hallmark and long-term commitment for Ericsson. For example, in 2021, Far EasTone, Swisscom, and TDC NET all topped global benchmark rankings. The common denominator among all three is that they run exclusively on Ericsson’s leading radio access network (RAN) and core network technology, and leverage Ericsson’s AI optimization software and services.

In line with this commitment to provide superior core networks to our customers, my team had several key achievements in 2023. We are proud of the excellent stability and performance of cloud-native networks that we have prioritized as the industry undergoes dramatic changes. We demonstrated high performance for next-generation voice services in 5G networks, ensuring voice over new radio (VoNR) and evolved packet system (EPS) fallback meets users' needs from day one. We also increased resilience to meet mission-critical demands through Ericsson Cloud Core Data Manager (CCDM), which when combined with network slicing, can provide an even higher level of redundancy and data isolation without affecting mobile broadband data configurations. These are only a few achievements as we continue to deliver best-in-class performance and reliability.

Learn more about live experiences and the hardening of core networks in this blog post.

3. Cloud-native leadership and experience with our dual-mode 5G Core

Ericsson made an early and strategic move into cloud-native technology for core networks, with commercial traffic running on our containerized 5G solution as early as 2019. In February of that year, we launched our dual-mode 5G Core solution, which was a bold step forward compared to competitors in terms of massively deploying core network functions in a cloud-native, microservices-based architecture running on a container platform.

The Ericsson dual-mode 5G Core solution, now with over 40 global customers, combines the network functions of evolved packet core (EPC) and 5GC architectures into a single cloud-based software platform, allowing for support of multiple access technologies, including 5G NR standalone and non-standalone, 4G, 3G, and 2G. This platform enables service providers to evolve their networks and seamlessly integrate legacy technology.

Figure: Deployment flexibility offered to our customers is a benefit often quoted as a key capability of the Ericsson dual-mode 5G Core.

Figure: Deployment flexibility offered to our customers is a benefit often quoted as a key capability of the Ericsson dual-mode 5G Core.

Implementing the dual-mode 5G Core solution gives service providers greater flexibility over their migration to 5G while focusing on business needs and benefiting from cost savings and a streamlined approach. This approach has enabled frontrunner service providers to gain experience and obtain technical and operational maturity in running cloud-native technology. Although the technology shift presented some challenges for both Ericsson and our customers, it has also helped us to harden our products and offered joint experience in running cloud-native technology in the telecom space. Today, we are confident that we lead the market with live deployments for cloud-native container-based architecture and support for 4G and 5G in one product.

“As of December 2022, we had migrated millions of subscribers to our new network. Service quality is very important to us, so carrying out this migration without a single reported interruption to our customers' service was a huge achievement."

Reza Rahnama,
MD Mobile Networks, BT

Discover BT’s journey toward 5G Core

4. First to achieve efficiencies through the integration of external service functions inside the core platform

We believe that integration is superior to isolation, so the Ericsson dual-mode 5G Core is designed to consolidate traditionally separate value-added service functions, like security, traffic optimization, and content filtering, into a single, high-performance platform. This allows for a decrease in operational costs and footprint with improved scalability for value-added functions. Our customers find this solution appealing as it allows for 50 percent capital expenditure (CapEx)savings in the user plane server footprint along with infrastructure and operating expense (OpEx) cost avoidance.

Figure: Ericsson is the first to deploy integrated traffic optimization and security functions in the core platform, highlighting server footprint savings.

Figure: Ericsson is the first to deploy integrated traffic optimization and security functions in the core platform, highlighting server footprint savings.

"Monitoring this network is absolutely critical. We have to know what's happening so we can make the right decisions. Using Ericsson Expert Analytics, together with the built-in software probes in Ericsson dual-mode 5G Core, we have the capability to look at exactly what's happening to each subscriber and to the network."

Reza Rahnama,
MD Mobile Networks, BT

Read more about integrated functionality in Ericsson dual-mode 5G Core in our TCO Guide.

5. Cloud transformation partner, delivering lower risk and TCO

Ericsson has pioneered innovation in cloud infrastructure for telecom, including early adoption of software-defined infrastructure and driving open-source distribution with a focus on telecom requirements. We are committed to ensuring our core networks run on robust infrastructure that delivers telecom-grade performance while integrating top IT innovation into telecom as seen in over 200 customers globally that rely on our Cloud Infrastructure solutions, including Australia’s TPG Telecom.

We are recognized as a of cloud-native bare metal infrastructure, being the first to deploy telecom applications and a commercial core network on this platform. We have demonstrated up to 20 percent total cost of ownership (TCO) savings for application deployment through bare metal cloud infrastructure.

Our cloud infrastructure solutions reduce risk by providing system-verified solutions with pre-integrated 5GC applications that are optimized for cloud-native infrastructure. We ensure comprehensive, optimized infrastructure for network transformation and smooth business operations with end-to-end support and life cycle management, centralized infrastructure management, and secure and telco-grade infrastructure. We also offer support beyond our infrastructure, with approximately 20 percent of customers running our core network on other vendors' infrastructures.

Dive into Ericsson’s view on hybrid cloud for telecom applications

6. We are where you are — seamlessly connecting local and global expertise

Ericsson's relationship with its customers, particularly with the local Ericsson team and their expertise in the local market has received the highest performance scores in customer research.

"This eye-level partnership approach is something that we will build on when developing new things. So, if I can give a recommendation to anyone: Look at how you can lift the relationship between vendor and operator to a partnership level in order to really take the next step on providing and implementing such complex solutions."

Jochen Bockfeld,
Director Technology - Common Services, Telefónica Germany

Explore Telefónica Germany’s cloud-native core journey and path to 5G SA

Ericsson invests in establishing a local presence through physical infrastructure, local hiring, partnerships, R&D, CSR activities, and focusing on customer relationships, enabling customized solutions and localized support. To ensure a seamless customer experience, our in-country colleagues are supported by our global team with international perspectives and expertise. We collaborate as one Ericsson team to deliver total value for our customers, who acknowledge our joint success.

“Throughout the entire process, Ericsson worked very closely with us, helping us to figure out exactly what we need in terms of features, capabilities, and interoperability.”

David Aders,
Telstra Group Owner for Mobile Development & Product Engineering.

Delve into Telstra’s journey to a cloud-native 5G Core 

Innovation and execution power required

Among all six areas, product innovation and execution capabilities, both locally and globally, have been evident.

Innovation: Ericsson’s investments in technology and thought leadership have contributed significantly to our leading position in the market. Our cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core architecture has been instrumental in defining our success in the new market.

Execution: We have strong execution capabilities to cater to the needs of large CSPs and smaller ones in local markets with both scalability and flexibility.

You can count on us to support you throughout your journey in meeting the growing demand from your customers.

Rounding up

I am proud that our customers have chosen us as a partner to upgrade their core networks into the next era. At Ericsson, we’re bringing our full suite of capabilities together to support our customers to create value and take their business to the next level. With this blog post, I want to showcase our commitment to our customers' success in core product innovation and beyond, including our broader execution capabilities. So, let's stay connected!

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