Telefónica Germany uses AWS, Ericsson to virtualize its 5G core

Telefónica Germany is working with Ericsson and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to virtualize its 5G core network. The company says it is investing “a double-digit million Euro amount” in the virtualization of the network.

The service provider is getting 5G core and orchestration components from Ericsson. And all its data will remain exclusively on AWS servers in Germany to ensure cloud security and to comply with data protection laws. The servers will either be located in data centers within the AWS Frankfurt Region or located at on-premises locations through AWS Outposts. 

AWS Outposts extends AWS infrastructure to virtually any datacenter, co-location space, or on-premises facility.

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“We are shifting essential functionalities of our 5G core network to the cloud,” said Mallik Rao, chief technology & information officer of Telefónica Germany, in a statement. “This turns hardware-centric technology into an extensive software solution. Based on Ericsson's modern cloud-native software architecture as a link to the AWS cloud solution, we can easily, quickly and flexibly integrate new 5G industry applications into our network and offer them to our customers with our 5G cloud."

Telefónica Germany is also conducting an industrial use-case trial with AWS to test the new cloud-based 5G core as well as some 5G network functions. In this process, the company will check compliance with all applicable data protection guidelines.

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Maintaining country-specific boundaries for data is important in Europe. AWS has already proven itself for many other industrial clouds in Germany, according to Telefónica Germany. It said, “One of the world's largest automobile manufacturers relies on a cloud-based solution using AWS to network its more than 100 production facilities worldwide.”

Mercedes Benz is on record as using AWS for its cloud services in multiple countries.

“This collaboration with AWS is an important part of our strategy for building industrial 5G networks," said Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Germany, in a statement. The company claims that any enterprise that uses its 5G network functions won’t need a physical core network infrastructure at their logistics and production sites, but only a 5G radio access network (RAN) with corresponding antennas.

Telefónica Germany plans commercial use of its cloud-based 5G core network in 2021.