MUNICH – Telefónica Germany / O2 is the first German network operator to build its 5G core network as well as crucial 5G network functions for new industry solutions in the cloud. Via the cloud-based 5G core network, new industry solutions can be developed faster, production and logistics processes can be automated even more and applications implemented in real-time (edge computing). In an industrial use case proof of concept, Telefónica Germany / O2 will use Amazon Web Services (AWS) and its proven cloud infrastructure to virtualize its 5G core. In addition, the company is relying on 5G core and orchestration components from the Swedish telecommunications supplier Ericsson.
"With the virtualization of our 5G core network, we are laying the foundation for the digital transformation of the German economy. This collaboration with AWS is an important part of our strategy for building industrial 5G networks", says Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Germany / O2.
Virtualization of the 5G core network starts now, commercialization in 2021
This month Telefónica Germany / O2, together with AWS and Ericsson will start the virtualization of the 5G core network and the implementation of first 5G network functions for first selected partners in the industry. The company is investing a double-digit Million Euro amount in the virtualization of the network. Telefónica Germany / O2 will start Commercial use of the cloud-based 5G core network for the entire German industry next year.
5G cloud solution according to European security standards
Data protection is a top priority in the virtualization of the 5G core network: All data from Telefónica Germany / O2 remains exclusively on AWS servers in Germany. Thus guaranteeing the company and its customers a cloud solution with the highest level of reliability and security.
In addition, Telefónica Germany / O2 is currently subjecting its cloud-based 5G core network including the 5G network functions to a so-called "proof of concept" together with its partners. In this process, the company is checking compliance with all applicable data protection guidelines and certifying them according to relevant industry standards.
The security concept for the cloud infrastructure from AWS has already proven itself for many other industrial cloud solutions in Germany. For example, 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.
Virtualization of the 5G core network enables fast integration of new industrial applications
"We are shifting essential functionalities of our 5G core network to the cloud. 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", says Mallik Rao, Chief Technology & Information Officer of Telefónica Germany / O2.
With the virtualization of the 5G core network, Telefónica Germany / O2 is accelerating the introduction of new industry solutions. Instead of a time-consuming hardware setup for new services, software-based integration via the 5G cloud can be implemented easily and at lower costs. In view of the lower development, provisioning and operating costs, experts estimate a savings potential of around 20 percent.
If companies use 5G network functions based on the cloud-based 5G core network of Telefónica Germany / O2 in the future, they will no longer need a physical core network infrastructure at their logistics and production sites, for example, but only a 5G radio network (RAN) with corresponding antennas.
Via its 5G in the cloud, Telefónica Germany / O2 can offer companies such as car and machine manufacturers, logistics companies or medium-sized businesses state-of-the-art standardized solutions for logistics and manufacturing processes in cooperation with their software developers and integrate them. Using AWS Outposts, a fully managed service that extends AWS infrastructure, AWS services, APIs, and tools to virtually any on-premises facility, developers can use tools they are already familiar with, eliminating the need for them to build these solutions independently. Furthermore, the cloud solution can be deployed in close proximity to the companies (edge computing) to ensure extremely low delay times (latencies) when using the network.
"We are very pleased to work with Telefónica Germany / O2 to implement the new industry use cases 5G enables", says Jan Karlsson, Head of Business Area Digital Services, Ericsson. "With this initiative we together demonstrate the 5G benefits for enterprises. By providing a cloud native 5G core network with open APIs, along with the capability to orchestrate enterprise applications in multi-cloud environments, we enable Telefónica Germany / O2 industry customers to accelerate their digitalization."
"This is a big moment for Telefónica Germany / O2 in their digital transformation journey and we're thrilled to be selected for their cloud native 5G core network deployment to realize 5G industrial solutions," says Dave Brown, Vice President Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) at AWS. "Telefónica's 5G Core will leverage AWS cloud technology within the AWS Frankfurt Region and their on-premises data centers through AWS Outposts. By building their 5G core network on AWS, Telefónica Germany / O2 is opening the door to cloud native infrastructure, delivering full automation and elasticity at scale, with the ability to dynamically scale and allocate 5G network capacity to meet the needs of their business customers."