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The Core

NEC, Netcracker tap into public cloud desire with 5G Core demo

The loud chatter in Barcelona this week is about 5G.

But the important chatter includes a revolution in how operators can use public cloud platforms to maintain their network operations and their business systems, as well as control key components of their new 5G networks.

In the world of techy TLAs (three-letter acronyms), the telco back office is the domain of the business support systems (BSS), which capture orders, manage customer relations and ultimately bill you for their trouble and operations support systems (OSS), which handle the network side: order management and network inventories.

One formidable presence in the OSS/BSS world is Netcracker, which is owned by NEC. The two companies today announced a relationship with Amazon Web Services where it is demonstrating the ordering and orchestration of 5G network slices, thanks to instances of NEC's 5G Core control plane and Netcracker's full-stack digital BSS/OSS running in Amazon's public cloud. The demo is taking place in the AWS Virtual Village at Mobile World Congress.

"NEC has deployed its 4G and 5G Mobile Core Solution on AWS for the commercial services of multiple service providers in Japan," said NEC's Global VP of Product Management, 5G products, Patrick Lopez, in a statement. "Our Core and its associated orchestration products allow us to provide sophisticated capabilities, such as end-to-end slicing, ultra-low latency and multi-cloud deployment options, which are key to realize the promises of 5G monetization."

Those "associated technologies" are critical to telco back offices and, in the cloud, will help carriers monitor network resources, scale their services based on usage or other network events and even allocate more bandwidth in the transport network, the companies said.

Netcracker forged another similar relationship to its one with AWS in March, with Google Cloud's Anthos platform.

As network operators facing huge capital expenditures from their 5G rollouts, the thought of running their operations and business tools in the cloud is appealing to some as it could lead to lower costs, more flexibility and quicker time-to-market with new services.

Operators will outlay $1.1 trillion globally in capital expenditures between 2020 and 2025. Of these, 80% will be on 5G networks, the GSMA predicted yesterday.

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— Pádraig Belton, contributing editor special to Light Reading

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