Ericsson boosts automation with CENX buy, launches new solutions

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Ericsson has bolstered its automation services with the acquisition of CENX, in addition to revealing new 5G transport and radio systems.

A value of the takeover was not revealed. Ericsson has been a minority shareholder in the company since 2012. Around 185 employees will join Ericsson following completion of the acquisition.

Ericsson said the buy would boost its NFV and orchestration services thanks to CENX's closed-loop automation and service assurance solutions. It added this closed-loop automation would help it to deliver services optimised for the likes of network slicing.

Mats Karlsson, Head of Solution Area OSS, Ericsson, said: "Dynamic orchestration is crucial in 5G-ready virtualised networks. By bringing CENX into Ericsson, we can continue to build upon the strong competitive advantage we have started as partners."

Ericsson also tweaked its end-to-end 5G platform by adding new products geared at network flexibility and spectrum sharing.

RAN Compute is aimed at helping operators distribute the likes of beamforming and radio control in order to tweak network performance while lowering costs.

The range's Compute Baseband products help operators deploy RAN functions either centrally or at the radio site.

Its Radio Processor solutions enable placement of RAN functions to be closer to the radio, providing operators with the opportunity for enhanced mobile broadband and ultra-low latency applications.

A separate Spectrum Sharing software product is aimed at helping operators deliver nationwide 5G coverage by allocating spectrum within the same band dynamically.

It said the software, which can be remotely installed on any Erisson Radio Systems shipped since 2015, removes the need for statically shifting existing 4G spectrum to 5G.

The vendor added the solution is 3GPP 5G New Radio compatible.

In a separate announcement, Ericsson said it was adding transport technologies from Juniper Networks and ECI Telecom to its portfolios for fronthaul and backhaul.

The vendor's Router 6000 range will now be equipped with Juniper's edge, security and core products, which it said would enhance the performance, quality and simplicity of 5G networks. The latter's security solutions will also be used in the range.

Its work with ECI, a vendor offering elastic network solutions, will help Ericsson build enhanced optical transport solutions for operators, as well as critical infrastructure.

Heidi Adams, Senior Research Director, IHS Markit, said: “Mobile transport infrastructure is critical for securing peak 5G radio performance and enabling the promise of new 5G services.

"By complementing its microwave transport and IP backhaul solutions with optical transport, edge, core, and security platforms from its partners, Ericsson will be well positioned to offer end-to-end, integrated mobile transport solutions aligned with the needs of new 5G radio and mobile core networks."