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Telefónica Germany and Ericsson

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


Case study: Telefónica Germany’s cloud-native core journey and path to 5G standalone (SA)

Recognizing the value and opportunity presented by cloud native and 5G SA, in 2021 Telefónica Germany took the decision to replace its Packet Core network, selecting Ericsson as the partner for the project.


Ericsson partnered with Telefónica Germany to effect a full cloud-native transformation, deploying Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core on the Ericsson Cloud infrastructure to enable the rollout of 5G standalone (SA). 


Telefónica Germany was ready to embrace cloud native, but recognized it was a new technology area for it to explore. Ericsson’s expertise in the cloud-native space, plus the pre-existing relationship, made Ericsson a great partner in navigating the journey.


Telefónica Germany’s eye-level partnership with Ericsson was key to the success of the transformation, with both parties thinking beyond technology to approach the project “holistically” as a transformation that also considers the platform, people and processes

“We have implemented Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core solution for 45 million customers, while implementing network slicing in parallel as a new business opportunity.” 

Jochen Bockfeld, Director Technology – Common Services, Telefónica Germany 

Jochen Bockfeld

The challenges

Telefónica Germany’s goal was to modernize the network, readying it for the rollout of 5G SA and building a future-proof foundation for later technologies like 6G. This modernization would also solidify Telefónica Germany’s place as a leading service provider – one that is able to disrupt the market and offer premium services.  

Going cloud native was key in order to embrace the automation required to manage the disaggregation of software and hardware, but also for enabling frequent software upgrades required to react to market demands with speed and flexibility. 

“The key challenge for us, as an industry, is to manage disaggregation of software and hardware components. And one of the enablers for this is automation. Cloud solutions, and especially containerized cloud solutions, are one of the key enablers for that.” 

Jochen Bockfeld at Telefonica Germany

The solution

Telefónica Germany selected Ericsson as its partner due to our expertise and experience in the cloud-native space, plus our existing, proven suite of cloud and 5G solutions. 

As the cloud-native transformation got underway, a joint way-of-working was established that was built on trust and empathy, lifting the collaboration to become a “real partnership” in which both sides are “working on eye level”. 

Key products and solutions in this case include: 

Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core

combining EPC and 5G Core network functions into a common cloud-native platform, including functionalities such as: Packet Core, Signaling and Resource Controller.

Ericsson Cloud infrastructure

system-verified cloud infrastructure solutions, including both an initial NFVI solution as well as a large bare metal CaaS infrastructure optimized for 5G Core cloud-native applications.


Ericsson Cloud Core Services

including network design, deployment, testing and support services. 

Ericsson’s software pipeline tools and services

including automated acceptance testing and continuous delivery and deployment of software to automate and orchestrate lifecycle management of Ericsson´s cloud-native network functions. 

The result

A successful launch

Today, 45 million of Telefónica Germany’s subscribers have been successfully migrated onto Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core solution. A huge benefit of the project was the ability to launch 5G SA as soon as the solution was live. This quickly opened many possibilities, for example, network slicing was explored immediately and network exposure is one of the next priorities. Opening the network capabilities to third parties will expand Telefónica Germany’s own offerings portfolio and help to position itself as a service partner rather than simply a connectivity provider. 

The future network is automated

The transformation has furthered Telefónica Germany’s drive toward an automated network, with containerized software solutions and the creation of a software deployment pipeline expected to increase its software upgrade cadence to allow for multiple releases per year. This flexibility will be key for swiftly bringing new, innovative services and capabilities to market, and capturing the full value of cloud native and 5G SA.

Crowd of users
45 million

customers live on the dual-mode 5G Core solution, while implementing network slicing in parallel as a new business opportunity.

DevOps and CI/CD

Transformation towards DevOps, automation of deployment and in-life processes (CI/CD)

“With automation, we have laid the foundation for doing a major software upgrade not just once a year, but two, three times a year at least, if not more often on the configuration side. So, the flexibility we gained with Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core solution is significant. It’s tremendous for us.”

Jochen Bockfeld,  Director Technology – Common Services, Telefónica Germany 


5G Core

Get to the core of 5G – a cloud native dual-mode 5G Core that combines EPC and 5GC network functions into a common cloud native platform for efficient TCO and smooth migration to 5G.

Read more

Cloud infrastructure

How can service providers best build an open telco cloud infrastructure for 5G to introduce services quickly with low risk? And how can infrastructure be evolved to support cloud native applications and edge computing for new business opportunities?

Read more


Want to know more how to plan and build your cloud-native 5G Core network?

Read the full story how Telefonica Germany transformed to a cloud-native network.

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