Service Provider Cloud

Nokia, Ericsson go cloud-native in KDDI 5G trials

KDDI took some big steps forward with its 5G network deployment plans after Ericsson and Nokia revealed standalone network trials that underline the role of cloud-native software in transforming the network core.

Nokia said it has completed a 5G core standalone network trial using its 5G AirGile cloud-native core solution, "moving control functions completely into a cloud-based environment" and decoupling the data plane and control plane functions.

Ericsson, meanwhile, highlighted a demonstration of cloud-native CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery) pipeline delivery for the 5G core, noting that the container-based technology enables "automatic deployment of new software and functionalities."

KDDI has already revealed that Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung will be its primary 5G partners, and expects the first commercial live 5G services to be available from March 2020. KDDI is also working with Cisco Systems, which recently trumpeted its role in supporting the operator's "transition to 5G" with the Cisco Virtualized Packet Core and Control and User Plane Separation (CUPS) architecture.

The Japanese operator is no doubt keen to flag the advances it has made with standalone 5G in the face of competition from Rakuten Mobile, which is building a revolutionary cloud-native 4G network. KDDI and its rivals NTT DoCoMo and SoftBank have been given some breathing space to get their 5G networks up and running now that Rakuten's delayed launch looks set for April 2020.

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— Anne Morris, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

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