VodafoneZiggo awards Ericsson evolved packet core contract

VodafoneZiggo, a joint venture between Vodafone Netherlands and Ziggo, announced it has awarded Ericsson an evolved packet core contract. As part of the collaboration, VodafoneZiggo will deploy Ericsson’s virtual Evolved Packet Core on its common cloud infrastructure within the first half of this year.

The Ericsson virtual Evolved Packet Core is an end-to-end solution supporting a range of virtual network services. Among these is network slicing, which enables operators to create and partition different services on a network. VodafoneZiggo plans to provide its customers with Ericsson’s network slicing functionality, ensuring they receive a guaranteed amount of network resources.

Vodafone has been interested in network slicing. Last month, for example, Vodafone Ireland and Huawei tested a new network slicing technology. The companies reported they were able to create separate consumer and enterprise virtual network slices on a live FTTH. The consumer slice carried broadband internet and Vodafone TV services, while the enterprise slice carried OneNet business services, including voice.

“We are leading the way towards our vision of a Gigabit Society and Ericsson is our strategic technology partner,” said Eben Albertyn, executive director of technology, VodafoneZiggo. “The core network products, solutions and services that Ericsson provides to us facilitates the introduction of Internet of Things applications and will pave the way towards 5G.”

Ericsson noted operators have become attracted to network slicing on account of demand for ultra-reliable services, ultra-high bandwidth and extremely low latency. The company said its network is able to support a range of capabilities to meet these diverse customer requirements simultaneously.

“Last year VodafoneZiggo selected us as the supplier of Mobile Core and IMS Core,” said Arun Bansal, head of regions Europe and Latin America, Ericsson. “With the addition of the Ericsson virtual Evolved Packet Core solution, we are now delivering a suite of scalable, tightly integrated and future-proof core network solutions for the benefit of VodafoneZiggo’s customers.”

Ericsson also said it is VodafoneZiggo’s sole supplier for the macro radio network, including 5G. The company provides managed services, spanning the gamut of network rollout, deployment, design and optimization. Both agreements are valid until the end of 2020.

This isn’t the first time Ericsson and VodafoneZiggo have worked together. Last October, for example, the companies announced they were collaborating to boost the capacity of the Vodafone mobile network in the Netherlands by maximizing the potential of Ericsson’s 5G-ready radio equipment and Vodafone’s spectrum assets.

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