Home5G & BeyondVMware tests Ericsson 5G Core for making telco clouds

    VMware tests Ericsson 5G Core for making telco clouds


    Is it quicker, cheaper and easier to build 5G Cores with VMware?

    On Monday (April 25th) Ericsson and VMware revealed that work has begun to validate Ericsson’s 5G Core to run on VMware’s Telco Cloud Platform. A ‘validation’ would confirm that VMware’s system can handle Ericsson’s 5G Core Cloud Native Functions (CNFs). If so, it gives telco cloud builders more options and the power of choice means they are more likely to find something that fits their requirements perfectly. Ultimately this makes the work easier and it becomes cheaper to build 5G Cores for telcos, Ericsson said.

    Three pillars of wisdom

    Three infrastructure and orchestration options for telcos are under scrutiny, says Peter Cohen at RCR Wireless. Each uses Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core, which can simultaneously run 4G LTE and 5G networks. This means a mobile network operator (MNO) can throw itself at the mercy of the Telco Cloud Platform in good faith that it will provide a solid foundation for every execution of Ericsson’s network functions. The network equipment maker said it can rely on the VMware Telco Cloud’s powers of automation to manage network function orchestration and lifecycle management. 


    A second option for MNOs is to manage CNFs using Ericsson orchestration running on the Telco Cloud Platform. This course of action allows the MNO to create, manage lifecycles and configure every node of the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG), said Ericsson. Both the Ericsson Orchestrator Cloud Manager NFVO and the Ericsson Orchestrator Evolved VNF Manager can handle CNF lifecycle management. A third option blends Ericsson orchestration tools and integrates them directly on Telco Cloud Infrastructure. 

    Glide smoothly into the cloud

    Any MNO that uses these Ericsson and VMware offerings can plan their migration path to a fully cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core operations over time, according to Ericsson. The end result is a “flexible migration path” that paves the way for a smooth evolution from a legacy to a 5G Core. “Onboarding and system validation is a continuous joint effort which takes place at both VMware and Ericsson labs to ensure engineering support and alignment on these reference configurations and platform versions,” said Ericsson. 

    Frankenstein’s IT monster

    In March, Virgin Media asked VMware to integrate all the disparate systems the IT department inherited as it grew by acquisition. VMware was asked to orchestrate VMO2’s eclectic range of IT systems in a bid to prepare for a 5G rollout. Virgin’s IT systems have been likened to a Frankenstein’s monster of crudely cobbled together organs, and it certainly feels like that as a customer when talking the call centre staff who can rarely offer any insights. 

    Nightmare on Cloud Street

    In an interview with Mobile Europe, Ranga Rajagopalan, chief architect at hypervisor specialist VMware, likened the polyamorous enterprise cloud experience to a potential horror story. “Imagine the telco is moving into a new neighbourhood [in the cloud]. They try to make friends but soon discover Jason from Halloween lives in the first house, Freddie from Nightmare on Elm Street is in the second and Ghostface from Scream is in the third. Each cloud villain wants the poor neighbour for itself,” said Rajagopalan.


    In November 2021 VMware said it would expedite the roll-out of Vodafone UK’s new digital services by integrating them into one big, scalable system to run all its networks and IT systems across Europe. This, it claims, will empower Vodafone UK to instantly get any new management software, apps and processes running across any mobile infrastructure and any cloud.