Telefónica Germany renews Ericsson core deal despite recent Nokia/AWS infidelity

Swedish kit vendor Ericsson is keen for everyone to know it’s still Telefónica Germany’s main core partner.

Scott Bicheno

June 10, 2024

2 Min Read
source: ericsson

A month ago we reported on the news that Telefónica Germany was dabbling with a new cloud-based 5G core in partnership with Nokia and AWS. "With the launch of the new, cloud-based 5G core network, we are doing pioneering work and are taking a major step in our transformation process," said Telefónica Germany's CTIO, Mallik Rao, at the time.

This news must have been distressing to Ericsson, which signed a core network partnership with Telefónica Germany back in 2020. Conversely, it’s presumably delighted to announce, so soon after that blow to its flagging morale, that the 2020 deal has been renewed and that its ‘cloud-native dual-mode 5G core and cloud-based infrastructure solutions’ will now serve all 45 million mobile subscribers.

“We always want to offer our customers an outstanding network experience by delivering the full value of cloud-native and 5G Standalone to them,” said Rao this time. "The core network is the heartbeat for this. With Ericsson, we have embarked on a cloud-native transformation journey and are now going to develop it further by expanding our portfolio and capabilities towards network slicing, automation, and API access. This allows us to roll out new features faster and without temporary maintenance breaks - an important step towards the network of the future.”

How those two cores will coexist is unclear, but there’s no talk of a public cloud partner in this announcement, with Ericsson apparently providing all the cloud infrastructure. Maybe the Nokia deal represents a ring-fenced initial foray into putting the core onto the public cloud, with the Ericsson core doing all the day-to-day work.

“Our deep partnership with O2 Telefónica in Germany has been a significantly rewarding one from the start,” said Daniel Leimbach, Head of Customer Unit Western Europe at Ericsson. “Meeting its challenge to deliver a cloud-native core network for its 45 million subscribers while ensuring it was flexible enough to evolve in line with its strategy meant breaking new ground across a range of disciplines. We are proud of our joint achievements and that we are reconfirmed as O2 Telefónica’s partner for core network for the years to come.”

Yeah, we get it Daniel. Ericsson emphasised how future proof its 5G core is by flagging up the implementation of ‘the world’s first in-service software upgrade in the containerized dual-mode 5G core user plane.’ It will be interesting to see what direction Rao and his team go with the 5G core in years to come, specifically what that might say about the pros and cons of the public cloud in this context.

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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