Telefónica has chosen Ericsson as the primary partner for its 5G core mobile network in Germany, citing the need to safeguard security.
Previously Telefónica opcos in Spain and Germany used Huawei equipment extensively in their 4G core but are transitioning towards a multi-vendor core and reducing dependency on the Chinese firm, whose equipment will be confined to parts of the 5G RAN.
“As a network operator serving the most mobile customers in Germany we have a special social responsibility to provide secure networks,” Markus Haas, CEO of Telefonica Deutschland said in a statement.
The operator, which uses the O2 brand in Germany, plans to build a complete 5G core network with full cloud compatibility into its infrastructure this year.
This will allow it to manage greater data volumes and deploy features like network slicing and edge computing, on which operators around the world intend to offer new services.
Operators in Germany have faced difficult decisions while they wait for government’s next pronouncement on security guidelines for 5G, updating those from October last year.
Telefónica Deutschland (DT) has ambitious plans to deploy 5G in Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich this year. It intends to provide coverage in 30 cities for 16 million people in 2022.
In December, Deutsche Telekom (DT) said it would defer making decisions about 5G procurement until further clarification was forthcoming. However, in April, the former incumbent said it was trialling dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) which could speed the launch of 5G and help it achieve a target of coverage of more than 40 million people this year.
DSS enables 4G and 5G to operate in parallel in one frequency band.
Vodafone Germany was the first to launch 5G in Germany and also said it will use DSS in the 700MHz band to offer 5G and 4G services.