Vodafone deploys Ericsson cloud core to power Standalone 5G

(Image credit: Christoph Scholz/Flickr)

Vodafone is to deploy Ericsson’s cloud-based dual-mode core technology to support its Standalone 5G (SA 5G) network, paving the way for the commercialisation of the most revolutionary consumer and business applications.

Most commercial 5G (opens in new tab) deployments to date have relied on Non-standalone 5G (NSA 5G), which uses new radio technologies but still relies on the underlying 4G core.

SA 5G uses a new virtual, cloud-based core that allows data to be processed closer to the point of collection and enables features like network slicing. This allows for guaranteed speeds, enhanced reliability and ultra-low latency

Vodafone SA 5G

These characteristics will be essential for 5G applications like Virtual Reality, robotics, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). There will also be an inevitable improvement to mobile broadband services.

Vodafone first deployed SA 5G at the university of Coventry last year, while it is expected the first compatible handsets will be released later this year. Ericsson is already a key supplier for the Newbury-based operator, with its technology powering Vodafone’s network in London and other major cities.

“Ericsson has been one of our most trusted and successful partners for many years, and we are thrilled to be taking this critical step forward together,” declared Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer, Vodafone UK. “With this new core delivery, the foundations are being built for our 5G Standalone network, which will enable us to work with customers to deliver innovations that would not be possible otherwise.”

“We have a deep understanding of Vodafone’s customer and market needs, and with our leading product portfolio, supply chain, field-service expertise and support organization, we are able to deploy speedily at scale and bring exciting new services to the UK market,” added Katherine Ainley, CEO, Ericsson UK & Ireland. “We are proud to be instrumental in making this happen with Vodafone.”

Vodafone launched 5G back in 2019 and now has 2.6 million customers on a ‘5G-ready’ tariff.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.