Spark has appointed Ericsson to supply its 5G core solution to power the telco’s 5G standalone (SA) network in New Zealand.
This marks a major milestone in the partnership to create the potential for new monetisation opportunities from the network slicing, network automation and edge computing capabilities of Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core.
The appointment follows the successful completion of a three-month 5G SA trial in 2022, demonstrating the ease with which cloud-native core network solutions – to support 5G SA – can be deployed. The 5G SA trial was underpinned by Ericsson’s cloud-native 5G core, and integrated with Spark’s 5G fixed wireless access network (FWA) to test enhanced wireless broadband. The trial’s success confirmed and validated the technical capabilities of Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G core solution on Spark’s network.
Spark’s 5G standalone network will enable faster connectivity speeds, ultra-low latency, and higher bit rates and network reliability. This creates the potential for high-performance use cases such as real-time robotics control, factory automation, and even autonomous vehicles.
Commenting on the development, Renee Mateparae, network and operations director, Spark, said, “Our partnership with Ericsson is another important step in our journey to deliver a nationwide 5G network with enhanced performance through 5G SA capabilities. The benefits of this technology include greater opportunities for our partners and better services for our customers. This opens the door for increased capacity and low latency to help accelerate converged technology use cases, such as connected cars, smart cities, industrial internet of things (IoT), cloud-hosted gaming, uninterrupted high quality video, and augmented and extended reality applications.”
Meanwhile, Emilio Romeo, head of Ericsson, Australia and New Zealand, said, “We are excited to partner with Spark and support their vision of providing world-class 5G services to New Zealand by delivering a smoother 5G migration through the capabilities enabled by Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core technology. As the technology is rolled out across Spark’s 5G network, Spark is set to offer even more performance for its 5G network while opening the door to enhanced 5G capabilities for both its consumers and enterprises.”
5G core is the heart of a 5G mobile network, handling a wide variety of essential functions in the mobile network, such as connectivity and mobility management, authentication and authorisation, subscriber data management and policy management, among others.
Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G core combines evolved packet core (EPC) and the new 5GC network functions into a common, cloud-native platform that supports the introduction of 5G while enabling an efficient co-existence with deployed 4G core networks.