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Introducing these new offerings rapidly to the market in an agile manner that can be quickly adapted to meet changing demands. The network must also support a seemingly infinite range of needs. A dynamic 5G core network lights the path forward.

Next-generation core networks will run in a business environment that is significantly different from that of today. Next-generation core networks will be designed to support the traditional operator model, but at the same time be flexible enough to support a shared-infrastructure model, as well as dedicated usage for specific industries and use cases.

The Ericsson 5G Core architecture is highly flexible, modular, and scalable and supports a much higher degree of programmability and automation than exists in today’s networks.

The 5G Core will exist in an environment that is cloud-based, with a high degree of Network Functions Virtualization for scalability, SDN for flexible networking, dynamic orchestration of network resources, and a modular and highly resilient base architecture. As well the support of different access technologies simultaneously.

Network virtualization and programmability

Virtualization, network programmability and 5G use cases will transform network design, from planning and construction through deployment. Instead of locating network functions based on traditional vertical groupings in single network nodes, they will be distributed to provide connectivity where and when it is needed.

Technologies like Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and virtualization are enabling a drastic change in network architecture. Traditional structures are being broken down into customizable elements that can be programmatically chained together to provide the right level of connectivity, with each element running on the appropriate architecture.

But how can the core network become a dynamic, virtualized provider of customized connectivity to cost-effectively support an endless number of needs? The answer lies in the 5G Core network.

Ericsson 5G core

The Ericsson 5G Core network is a common network platform. It enables ICT transformation and provides the agility, speed and efficiency required by new services and the massive scale demands introduced by billions of IoT devices.

Ericsson 5G Core takes advantage of Network Function Virtualization (NFV). By integrating ‘distributed cloud’ and ‘network slicing’ functionality, it brings new levels of flexibility and optimization that drive business innovation at an unprecedented scale. Important elements of Ericsson 5G Core are:

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Network Functions Virtualization

Virtualizing your network will help speed up the introduction of new services, as well as improve efficiency when building and operating the network. Networks Functions Virtualization is important for the 5G Core.

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Software Defined Networking

Software Defined Networks brings the power of programmability and automation to transform networks into an agile, on demand, and application-responsive entity - for 5G Core.

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Network slicing

Network slicing is one of the key capabilities that will enable flexibility, as it allows multiple logical networks to be created on top of a common shared physical infrastructure.

  • Cloud enabled Core. Interconnects multiple central and distributed datacenters to create a single, virtual datacenter. When virtualized network functions (VNFs) are deployed in a virtual datacenter, each function maps to the datacenter best able to process it. Core network workloads can be dynamically placed throughout the cloud enabled network, for example distributing the core network user plane with the radio accees user plan in order to meet stringent latency requirements for certain use cases.
  • Network slicing. Divides a network into multiple slices isolated in the control, management and user planes, with each slice optimized for the use cases being supported. Slices can be optimized based on performance characteristics, such as latency, capacity, throughput and speed.
  • Management and Orchestration (MANO). Manages virtualized and distributed network resources, providing crucial analytics and exposure information to new types of applications, such as IoT and critical industry applications that use 5G.

The flexible Ericsson 5G Core supports the wide range of performance requirements demanded by new business opportunities, multiple access technologies, a wide variety of services and new device types. Backed by automation, advanced analytics and the ability to program network assets, operators become empowered to quickly react to new challenges and business opportunities. Ericsson 5G Core also keeps costs under control even as networks adapt quickly to business model changes.

Learn more about 5G

Ericsson's 5G radio prototypes in lab

Building 5G networks

5G technology will encompass an evolution of today's LTE technology with the addition of new radio access technologies, often in higher frequencies. 5G will impact the entire mobile network and associated eco-system, from devices to radio access, IP core and into the cloud.

Ericsson 5G radio prototype in our lab

Ericsson takes 5G technology from test bed to field trial prototypes

5G has become the hottest topic in mobile, even though standards-based 5G networks will only be commercially available starting in 2020. Mobile operators around the world have already indicated that pre-standard, pre-commercial networks can be expected earlier in a number of markets.

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Join us on the journey to 5G

5G is the foundation for realizing the full potential of the Networked Society. The new capabilities of 5G span several dimensions, including tremendous flexibility, lower energy requirements, greater capacity, bandwidth, security, reliability and data rates, as well as lower latency and device costs.

Building Tomorrow’s Networks

Advanced and flexible networks will support fast introduction of new offerings which are differentiated or tap new value chains. Learn more about how we are developing networks supporting the frontrunners of tomorrow - with five key success factors in mind.

5 factors for success