Vodafone joins forces with Ericsson for the deployment of the first pre-commercial 5G SA (stand alone) core network in Spain. The ‘core’ is the main core of the network where the data is stored. Until now, Vodafone had deployed 5G ‘core’ ‘non stand alone’ (NSA), which differentiates it from this in that it uses 4G technology at the core.
That is, it was an evolution of 4G that did not become fully 5G and, therefore, to have all its characteristics. Therefore, this deployment will mean improvements in the functions of the company’s network in Spain.
It is the first step towards the future and expected fifth generation of mobile telephony. The deployment comes after the progressive and selective deployment in business and industrial environments of 5G SA networks carried out in 2020, and after being the first company to launch the commercial 5G NSA network in Spain in June 2019.
The new network is deployed for the 3.5 gigahertz band , pending the auction in the 700 megahertz band that will be tendered in the month of July and which, being the lowest, is the one most desired due to the extension of coverage up to building interiors.
Vodafone launches the deployment of this technology in the core of the network to later reach the ‘antennas’ deployed in each of the 25 locations that already have initial 5G (NSA). The company has signed an alliance, in addition to Ericsson as the provider of the network infrastructure, with Samsung for the terminals.
This is a pre-commercial launch and, therefore, it will only be enabled for those companies that want to develop pilot projects to test the new technology. Among the use cases, Vodafone highlights industrial automation and control of production processes , integration of camera and drone sensors as input for digital models, remote operations in the medical sector or connected work through extended reality, improving security in interactions with machines.
Among the additional functionalities that this evolution gives rise to, highlights what is known as ‘Network Slicing’ (development of private networks for companies) that allows reaching a latency that could be less than 10 milliseconds (that of the 5G NSA of Vodafone is between 10 and 20 milliseconds), as well as an improvement in the battery efficiency of 5G smartphones.
Also, advanced Edge computing , the technology that will enable services in real time, such as the connected car or Smart Cities. In addition, 5G SA networks will be based on a new service-oriented architecture that enables new business models focused on the exposure of standardized APIs and the use of the network as a platform.