Virgin Media 02 to use Ericsson 5G SA core
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:

Ericsson has announced it will deploy its cloud native, container-based dual-mode 5G Standalone (SA) core across Virgin Media O2’s new SA network in the UK.

According to the two companies, the deployment will “pave the way for Virgin Media O2 to deliver ultra-fast connectivity to consumers and develop advanced enterprise use cases”.

The new agreement will see Virgin Media O2 bring its 4G, 5G NSA and 5G SA services into a single fully integrated Ericsson dual-mode 5G Core hosted on cloud infrastructure in Virgin Media O2’s data centres.

Transition to 5G Standalone will support continued expansion of Virgin Media O2’s 5G infrastructure following last week’s pledge by the recently merged telecoms giant to offer full-fibre across the UK by 2028.

According to Ericsson, the cloud native SA core offers improved gigabit connectivity, ultra-low latency, network slicing and huge data-handling ability alongside services such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).

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 Standalone. The benefits of 5G Standalone 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.”

Katherine Ainley, CEO of Ericsson UK & Ireland, added: “Ericsson’s leading 5G Core technology and strong partnership with Virgin Media O2 means we are ready to build the network of the future together in the UK.

“Our dual-mode 5G Core will enable the full power of 5G Standalone within Virgin Media O2’s network, unleashing the full potential of 5G for consumers and enabling digital transformation in new industries.”

Ericsson has previously partnered with 02 in the UK and first launched 5G commercial services in partnership 2019 with the new agreement marking the companies' first collaboration since 02’s £31 billion merger with Virgin Media completed in June.

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