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Ericsson to up 5G Core R&D, T-mobile US Plans Standalone 5G Core This Quarter

July 24, 2020 / Sean Kinney

With sub-6 GHz 5G deployments in a mature markets scaling rapidly–that’s to say nothing of a mixed bag of consumer interest–operators are now looking to bring the full 5G feature set to market through a transition from non-standalone to standalone 5G. Standalone 5G refers to a shiny, new, cloud-native core capable of offering up network slices, a key part of offering differentiated enterprise services and the new revenue that comes with that. On the company’s most recent earnings call, Ericsson President and CEO Börje Ekholm noted “strong demand for our cloud-native and 5G core portfolio” with “significant Tier 1 customers.” He expects to see revenue off those deals next year and said the vendor was going to up its R&D spend. “In response to this strong market momentum, we decided to increase our R&D investments,” Eckholm said, adding that the long-term value created from those investments will ultimately outweigh the short-term financial impacts on financial margins. Ericsson recently announced its working with Japanese operator SoftBank to provide a “cloud-native, dual-mode” 5G core. Dual-mode refers to simultaneous support for evolved packet core and cloud-native core; the idea is to allow for a smooth migration of services from 4G and non-standalone 5G to full-on standalone 5G.