Ericsson, Red Hat support Spark’s 5G SA trial in New Zealand

Ericsson and Red Hat were part of a 5G Standalone (5G SA) trial with Spark in New Zealand that was designed to demonstrate the ease with which standalone cloud-native solutions can be deployed.

Ericsson provided its cloud-native 5G core running on Red Hat OpenShift. The trial was done within three months and confirmed the technical capabilities of 5G SA technology on Spark’s network, according to a press release.

“This proof-of-concept trial with Ericsson and Red Hat demonstrates the potential that 5G standalone technology offers to our Spark network, opening the door on capacity and low latency to help accelerate Internet of Things trends, such as connected cars, smart cities and industrial IoT,” said Spark Technology Tribe Lead Nilay Rathod in a statement.

Conducting trials with the solutions offered by Ericsson and Red Hat is an important step for Spark to identify the optimal combination of vendors and solutions to deliver the benefits they want to achieve, he added.

Spark did not say when it expects to commercially launch its 5G SA network but said the trial is part of the ongoing groundwork that Spark is undertaking for the rollout of 5G SA at scale in the future.

Last year, Spark outlined how it was running two proof-of-concepts for 5G SA with Mavenir, AWS, Nokia and OPPO. Spark noted how a standalone 5G network enables low-latency access to multi-edge compute solutions, allowing customers to deploy solutions that can push compute capacity from the core network right to the customer’s work site, factory or workplace.

To test the benefits, Spark deployed a Mavenir 5G standalone cloud-native core solution on AWS Snowball Edge, a rugged device that provides edge computing and data transfer services. According to Spark, it was Mavenir’s first global edge deployment on AWS Snowball Edge. Using an AWS Snowball device allowed Spark to create a highly portable edge solution that could “literally fit into a suitcase,” the operator said, allowing it to process and store data close to where it’s generated.

Spark tested a video analytics tool on the solution, with the results demonstrating low latency to deliver real-time video analytics – with latency reduced by 70% to single-digit milliseconds.