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BT trusts Oracle while Telefonica selects IBM as operators go cloud native

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Vendors to perform tricky 4G to 5G cloud native transformation without losing the patient

BT-owned UK mobile operator EE has appointed Oracle Communications to bring its 5G offerings to market faster. Meanwhile Spain’s flagship operator Telefonica is working with IBM and open source specialist Red Hat to convert it into a core 5G cloud native.  

Oracle claims its cloud native converged policy management makes it easier for network engineers to design, test and run new services, such as live streaming and zero-rated 5G content, across both 4G and 5G networks. EE plans to launch 5G-enabled Internet of Things (IoT) service offerings to consumer and enterprise customers. BT already uses Oracle Communications network products for 3G and 4G SIP and Diameter Signalling.

Oracle Communications Consulting (OCC) will implement policy and then migrate BT's 4G voice and data services to 5G. It will also help BT with policy design, optimisation and 5G software testing using Oracle's Automated Testing Suite.

Simple design saves time

A simple policy design engine can cut the testing time from months to minutes even for complex projects like augmented reality (AR), claims Oracle. 

Oracle offers the best converged policy system for the crucial 4G to 5G migration according to analyst Caroline Chappell at Analysis Mason. Customer experience continuity during the transformation will be “essential for ensuring long-term market uptake of 5G services," said Chappell.

In Spain Telefónica has asked IBM to build its first cloud-native 5G Core network system.

In the operation IBM Global Telco Solutions Lab in Coppell, Texas will connect to Telefónica's Network Cloud Lab in Madrid. The modernisation operation will take place on the IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation system, which will be managed through Red Hat’s OpenShift management system using Kubernetes container technology. Juniper Networks Apstra is to provide the networking capacity and QFX technology will orchestrate operations.

The brief for the mission is to create low latency, high bandwidth and advanced network slicing. The work will be hosted in Unica Next data centres from October 2021.