Virgin Media O2 inks 5G Core deal with Ericsson to power 5G SA deployment

27 Jul 2021

Swedish vendor Ericsson has been selected by Virgin Media O2 to deploy cloud native, container-based dual-mode 5G Standalone (SA) Core on cloud infrastructure in the UK, in a move it is claimed will pave the way ‘for Virgin Media O2 to deliver ultra-fast connectivity to consumers and develop advanced enterprise use cases’. In a press release outlining the development, Ericsson said that the new agreement – which is already reportedly being put into practice – will see Virgin Media O2 bring its 4G, 5G Non-standalone (NSA) and 5G SA services into a single fully integrated Ericsson dual-mode 5G Core hosted on Ericsson cloud infrastructure in Virgin Media O2’s data centres. The solution is incorporating Ericsson network orchestration, automation, enhanced fault and performance management, as well as the Ericsson Traffic Monitoring and Analysis (TMA) solution for real-time troubleshooting and analytics.

The two companies first launched 5G commercial services in 2019 and an extended 5G rollout and network modernisation began in 2020, which included an innovation cluster to develop the network migration to 5G SA architecture. This new 5G Core agreement is claimed to strengthen the close working relationship between the two companies even further and makes Ericsson ‘a key end-to-end partner for Virgin Media O2 in the UK’.

Commenting, Jorge Ribeiro, Director of Service Platform Strategy & Engineering at Virgin Media O2, said: ‘This is an exciting time for our award winning network, as we prepare for 5G SA. Our teams are already working hard to deliver this infrastructure with Ericsson, who have been a trusted 5G partner since we launched 5G NSA in 2019. The benefits of 5G SA are significant as we aim to supercharge the UK’s digital economy, and we look forward to rolling it out for our customers in the near future.’

United Kingdom, Ericsson, O2 UK, Virgin Media