NEC develops cloud native 5G mobile core with AWS

Guy Daniels
By Guy Daniels

Jul 3, 2019

© by tsaiid is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2

© by tsaiid is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2

  • Virtualized mobile core configured for on-prem and AWS cloud 
  • NEC is planning to implement the AWS-based solution in its 5GC
  • But will also offer it to industrial enterprise customers 
  • Targeting sales of $93 million by the end of 2021

The era of cloud native is approaching fast, and with it come opportunities and threats for CSPs. The idea of hosting networking functions on the public cloud removes the need for a CSP to build and deploy EPCs in their own data centres, which could be very useful for less dense traffic areas and for facilities-free MVNOs. But it also opens the door for Amazon, Azure, Google etc to enter the mobile network business through alternative hosting opportunities to the detriment of CSPs’ own Telco Cloud indicatives. How long before they offer network as a service solutions? 

We’ve already seen a virtual EPC solution created as a hosted service on Amazon’s AWS cloud platform, which was developed by Affirmed Networks earlier this year. Now comes the news that NEC has also developed a mobile core solution for the cloud that can be operated on AWS.

NEC says the new solution (which it stresses is “highly reliable”, in case the very mention of AWS and public cloud sends CSPs into cardiac arrest) is based on its established virtualized mobile core product and is configured for operation in both on-premises and AWS environments. 

"Amazon Web Services welcomes NEC's development and provision of cloud-based, native mobile core solutions operated on AWS," said Muneyuki Watanabe, Director, Strategic Alliance and Channel, AWS Japan. "We believe that high-speed, high-capacity fifth-generation communications are expected to grow rapidly and that the clouds that support these services will become increasingly important for the various services that meet 5G.”

NEC is obviously planning to implement the AWS-based solution in its 5GC (5G Core) solution. However, NEC also has a beady eye on industrial 5G here, which requires the design and construction of networks that are flexible, efficient and importantly quick to set up. AWS is well established with enterprises – more so than the CSPs. This opens the door to a very attractive private 5G network offering.

“By providing secure, highly usable, flexible, low-cost AWS services and technical support, such as consulting, we are able to play a part in NEC's solution development and contribute to 5G businesses in various areas that require high-speed networks,” added AWS’s Watanabe.

NEC will start offering this solution for CSPs later this year. It has already targeted sales related to this solution of 10 billion yen ($93 million) by the end of 2021.

“I am pleased to be able to operate this mobile core solution on AWS, which is widely used by many companies,” said Toshiya Tsuji, Senior Vice President, NEC. “In the 5G era, mobile core networks are becoming increasingly important as an industrial foundation, and we believe it will be necessary to swiftly provide networks suitable for a variety of communication data in response to various business needs.”

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