Telefónica Deutschland Taps Ericsson to build 5G core network

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Telefónica Deutschland is building the O2 mobile network of the future. For the particularly security-relevant 5G core network, the company is relying on a European provider in the form of the Swedish telecommunications supplier Ericsson.

With this groundbreaking decision, the company is setting the course for a secure, digital network for the country in the coming 5G era. Thanks to the innovative and powerful Ericsson technology, Telefónica will have the most modern mobile core network in Germany and will be able to use the full potential of the 5G standard for private and business customers.

“As the network operator that connects most people in Germany with mobile communications, we have a very special social responsibility for secure digital connectivity. With 5G we are shaping Germany’s digital future,” says Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Deutschland. “With Ericsson as technology partner for our 5G core network, we can continue to offer our private and business customers the most powerful network technologies at economically attractive prices. The O2 mobile network will become a synonym for digital trust.”

Core network as the heart of digital connectivity

The core network is the most central and security-relevant part of a mobile network. It consists of several high-performance servers and fiber optic technologies.

All applications and data from the more than 26,000 mobile phone sites nationwide used by the 42 million mobile customers of the O2 network converge here. All technology components of the core network must undergo extensive testing by Telefónica Deutschland beforehand.

In addition, all manufacturers must undergo comprehensive, objective and transparent official security certification for selected hardware elements in accordance with the plans of the German government and issue a guarantee of their trustworthiness.

5G core network for implementing new technologies and business models

Telefónica Deutschland will implement a completely independent 5G core network with full cloud compatibility in its infrastructure by next year.

The capacities of the new core network are so comprehensively dimensioned that they will be able to optimally ensure the growing transport and data transmission tasks in view of the massively increasing data streams of O2 customers in the long term.

Thanks to the independent architecture of the core network, Telefónica Deutschland will be able to realize the comprehensive technical possibilities of 5G – such as network slicing or edge computing – for its customers.

By means of network slicing, Telefónica Deutschland can provide other companies with virtually separated and secured network infrastructures, e.g. for setting up private 5G networks for logistics and production sites.

For significantly shorter latency times and mobile real-time communication, Telefónica Deutschland brings its computing servers closer to its customers, thus enabling decentralized data processing on site (edge computing). “With our cloud compatible 5G core network, we are entering a new technology era,” says Mallik Rao, Chief Technology & Information Officer of Telefónica Deutschland. “Gigabit data rates, real-time communication and massive IoT – these visions are now becoming reality. We have a clear plan for the further development of our network infrastructure towards a standalone 5G network that can handle the massive data streams of the future and open up new digital business models for all our customers. In doing so, we are relying on the latest network technologies that the market has to offer.”

“The partnership between Telefónica Deutschland and Ericsson in the 5G core network underlines that all three German mobile network operators rely on us in different parts of their networks. With this, we are pleased to prove our ambition of technology leadership when it comes to equipping 5G networks,” says Stefan Koetz, Managing Director of Ericsson in Germany and Head of Customer Unit Western Europe.

5G will open up new dimensions for mobile data applications

With 5G, customers benefit from a much better network experience and state-of-the-art applications. With up to 20 GBit/s, O2 customers will surf around 100 times faster than with the LTE (4G) standard, which currently provides them with speeds of up to 225 Mbit/s. 5G also enables real-time communication: while the previous LTE (4G) standard achieves delay times (latencies) for data transfer of 10-50 milliseconds in everyday life, in perspective they can be reduced to just 1 millisecond with 5G. Private customers will be moving into completely new dimensions of mobile data applications in the future.

This will enable O2 private customers to enjoy mobile applications such as virtual reality without delays. For industrial customers, the ultra-low latency times are in turn a central prerequisite for the reliable use of the network in production and logistics processes.

Telefónica Deutschland will be able to offer business customers new digital solutions – for example for production, logistics, energy management or connected driving – and thus decisively advance the sustainable digitalization of Germany as a business location.

In total, 5G brings new momentum to the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine networks: While network operators can use LTE to connect up to 10,000 devices over an area of one square kilometer, 5G will connect up to 1 million devices.