T-Mobile Launches Virtual Packet Core with Cisco on Road Towards 5G

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T-Mobile has completed its virtualized packet core buildout across its nationwide footprint using Cisco’s distributed software defined network (SDN) architecture – the world’s largest, supporting more than 70 million customers.

The two companies have also signed a five year agreement to continue buildout of T-Mobile’s 5G Packet Core and Policy Suite spanning hardware, software and services.

With Cisco Ultra Virtual Packet Core & Policy solution, T-Mobile can deploy 5G nationwide, while realizing the full potential of virtualization and cloud to offer its customers new services faster.

“This was a significant undertaking for us, shifting from a centralized to a distributed core architecture across our footprint, and we couldn’t have achieved that without virtualization,” said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer, T-Mobile.“This means we can further our 5G plans with more flexibility and agility to deliver new services to our customers – and with Sprint we’ll shift it all into overdrive!”

“The size and scope of this project with T-Mobile marks a milestone as the largest virtual packet core operating today,” said Jonathan Davidson, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Service Provider Business, Cisco. “With this new virtualized architecture with massive scale, T-Mobile can launch new services with automated deployments, spending minutes to deploy what used to take months.”

T-Mobile is laying the groundwork for 5G now with its rapid 600 MHz deployments. The company expects to launch 5G for customers in 2019 when smartphones become available, with nationwide coverage in 2020.


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