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O2 Telefónica lifts 5G core network into the cloud

O2 Telefónica is taking the next step in 21st century digital connectivity and is going to move its 5G core network in Germany to the cloud in the future. With its software-based 5G cloud core network, the telecommunications provider wants to deploy and make updates in the network even faster and provide new networking solutions for private and business customers. O2 Telefónica is working closely together with partners Google Cloud and Ericsson. The company has implemented Google Distributed Cloud Edge in its data center, through which the 5G core network, provided by the Ericsson dual-mode 5G core, is operated. The telecommunications provider relies on a cloud security concept that meets strict data protection requirements and security mechanisms.

“With our new 5G cloud core network, we are going in an innovative and particularly forward-looking way,” says Mallik Rao, Chief Technology & Information Officer (CTIO) at O2 Telefónica. “The cloud is a true game changer in 21st century digital connectivity. It enables us to bring innovations to market faster, flexibly manage the computing power we need, and deliver new 5G applications to our consumers and business customers alike. We can leverage the full potential of 5G, cloud and automation. Together with our partners Ericsson and Google Cloud, we are pioneering the network of the future.”

Stefan Koetz, Acting Head of Market Area Europe & Latin America, Ericsson says: “As a leading network equipment supplier and technology partner, Ericsson is setting new standards for the connectivity of industry and society together with O2 Telefónica. The Ericsson 5G Core network is cloud native and can be deployed with full automation. As a result, we enable telecom operators to bring 5G innovations to their networks even faster.”

Google Cloud’s General Manager of Global Telecom Industry Amol Phadke reiterates: “Cloud-native networks help communication service providers become even more agile, efficient, and innovative in anticipating and responding to customer needs. We are excited to drive future-ready network infrastructure and applications through the deployment of Google Distributed Cloud Edge in O2 Telefónica’s 5G core network.”

O2 Telefónica tests new 5G customer applications
O2 Telefónica is using the 5G cloud core network to deploy and test real-world customer applications and networking solutions for mobile broadband, network slicing, real-time applications and private 5G networks in a testing environment, optimize performance and prepare the network for live operations. In order to comply with strict data protection requirements, no real customer data of O2 Telefónica is used.

For operations, O2 Telefónica is leveraging Google Cloud’s infrastructure and deploying Google Distributed Cloud Edge in its data center. The functions of the 5G core network, provided by the dual-mode 5G Core from the European network equipment supplier Ericsson, are based entirely on software. Through Google Distributed Cloud Edge, O2 Telefónica will be able to bring Google Cloud’s infrastructure and services closer to where data is being generated and consumed within its 5G core network.

Core network is the heart of the mobile network
The core network is the heart of the O2 network. It processes the data and voice traffic of currently around 47 million mobile customers and will also handle the expected data traffic growth in future. O2 Telefónica has already implemented a new core network based on innovative technologies from Ericsson that supports all mobile communications standards from 2G/GSM to 5G standalone. By continuing its network transformation with Google Cloud, O2 Telefónica will become even more flexible to scale B2X customer solutions and agile in powering automation and insights across its network to improve customer experience, time to market, and reduce costs.

Established partners in advanced 5G networking solutions
O2 Telefónica, Google Cloud and Ericsson are already successfully collaborating on modern 5G networking solutions: O2 Telefónica is building industrial 5G networks together with Ericsson. In addition, the telecommunications provider uses Google Cloud for part of its services.

Together with the focus on technological innovation, security of communication content and customer data has always been a top priority for O2 Telefónica. Among other things, the company uses a comprehensive Cloud Security Framework that meets the highest data protection requirements and leverages the highest security mechanisms to protect European data. For example, all cloud data centers are operated in Germany and are therefore subject to the European Data Protection Regulation (EU-DSGVO).

CT Bureau

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