As part of its preparations for the scheduled introduction of full commercial 5G services next month, British mobile network operator (MNO) Three UK has announced the launch of what it claims is the world’s first 5G-ready, fully integrated cloud core network. In a press release the cellco said that the infrastructure, which has been built in partnership with Finnish vendor Nokia, ‘sits in a virtual environment, offers increased security, flexibility and cost savings, allowing Three to scale more quickly and efficiently.’ Calling it a ‘critical building block for Three to deliver the UK’s fastest 5G network,’ the operator noted that the new core network will be managed from its 20 new data centres, which are spread across the country with a view to bringing its 5G network closer to its customers in order to deliver the lowest possible latency.
According to Three UK, it has already successfully tested its new core network with 3,500 of its employees and has started to migrate 4G customer traffic on to the new core. It says migration will continue throughout 2019, connecting new and existing customers to this next-gen cloud core, while upon full migration the new core network is expected to provide massive scalability so it can easily support the full potential increase in capacity which comes from the combination of Three’s spectrum holdings and smart 5G technology. Further, the cellco has claimed the core will provide a faster and more reliable service for subscribers, while having other benefits such as reducing the time to market for new products, boosting capacity and improving cost-efficiency.
Commenting, Three UK CEO Dave Dyson said: ‘Our new core network is part of a series of connected investments, totalling GBP2 billion [USD2.5 billion], that will provide a significant step change in our customers’ experience. UK consumers have an insatiable appetite for data as well as an expectation of high reliability. We are well positioned to deliver both as we prepare for the launch of the UK’s fastest 5G network.’