The two partners said they will build solutions for predictable performance and high availability

Ericsson has signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding with Korean telco SK Telecom to focus on possible enhancements and optimization enabled by cloud native micro-services-based principles, the Swedish vendor said in a statement.

Ericsson said that this MoU comes as increasing focus is being placed on the need for more agile and programmable 5G standalone core network that efficiently manage growth with automation and simplified operations

“Cloud-native micro-services architecture gives simplified and more granular software life-cycle management, higher degrees of automation, and more robust operations based on common mechanisms like container-based light weight virtualization and orchestration such as Kubernetes,” said Peo Lehto, head of solution line packet core at Ericsson.

The executive said that the two companies will work closely to build solutions for predictable performance and high availability, enabled by state-optimized design and a microservices architecture.

“This will relieve requirements on the infrastructure by allowing better handling of multiple failures, better infrastructure utilization with more flexible and granular scaling, as well as increased rate of innovation with independent lifecycles and in-service software upgrade for each service,” Peo Lehto said. “Ericsson and SKT have been cooperating closely for many years around 5G innovation. With the new MoU we can accelerate the necessary evolution of 5G core networks the profitable introduction of 5G-based services and use cases.”

“After the successful launch of 5G NSA network, SK Telecom is preparing to migrate towards 5G SA networks to provide the latest and greatest technology and services to its customers,”said Jong-kwan Park, SVP, head of 5GX Labs for SK Telecom. “This joint collaboration with Ericsson on the next generation 5G SA core and cloud native principles will not only enable us to introduce new services faster while at the same time improve our operational efficiency but also support higher availability through simplified operation.”

Last week, Korean carrier KT awarded Ericsson a 5G commercial contract to enable the nationwide launch of commercial 5G services in the country. Under the terms of that contract, Ericsson is providing 3GPP standards-based 5G New Radio hardware and software from Ericsson’s 5G platform to support KT’s 3.5 GHz 5G Non-Standalone network.

In addition to immersive media, KT’s 5G commercialization use case plans include smart factories; safety; drones; and connected vehicles.

Ericsson said that its solutions will also allow KT to open up internet of things and Industry 4.0 opportunities to Korean enterprises on a global scale.

The three Korean carriers launched limited 5G commercial services in December 2018 as part of an agreement with the ICT ministry to launch simultaneously to avoid excessive competition. The three mobile carriers initially launched the 5G service in limited areas in Seoul. The carriers expect to launch nationwide commercial services next month, according to previous reports.

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