KDDI completes 5G core standalone network trial in Japan

KDDI Corporation, a telecoms company in Japan, has completed a 5G core standalone (SA) network trial.
KDDI AU store Japan

KDDI and Nokia

Engineers at KDDI conducted the standalone trial, using Nokia’s 5G AirGile cloud-native core solution, independently of previous generations’ mobile network architecture.

Nokia is assisting KDDI engineers in analyzing the network evolution steps and deployment of 5G core Stand Alone services.

KDDI can roll out Nokia’s  5G AirGile cloud-native core in a traditional network environment or a cloud environment and is fully compliant with 3GPP Release 15 5G core functions.

Nokia applied a service-based architecture to the 5G control plane, moving control functions completely into a cloud-based environment which provides operators with improved scalability, velocity and flexibility. The trial allows KDDI to highlight how a 5G control plane can utilize the communication model of today’s web services to create multiple software instances in a cloud environment.

KDDI plans to evolve from a non-standalone (NSA) 5G core network to a full 5G SA core. The trial ensures both parties understand the key requirements, roadmap and performance of a 5G core SA deployment.

With a 5G core SA network, consumers can experience the benefits of 5G by fully leveraging enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), enhanced Machine Type Communication (eMTC) and Ultra Reliable Low Latency Connectivity (URLLC).

John Harrington, head of Nokia Japan, said: “The trial marks a crucial milestone for KDDI’s 5G SA deployment as well as for Japan’s 5G.”

Ericsson and KDDI

Ericsson said KDDI has demonstrated cloud-native CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery) pipeline delivery for KDDI’s standalone 5G Core network.

The container-based technology enables automatic deployment of new software and functionalities, while maintaining the high quality and availability of the 5G Core network.

Ericsson and KDDI partnered to create a cross-organizational end-to-end 5G CI/CD pipeline – moving from native to virtualized and cloud-native network functions. The pipeline deploys software from Ericsson’s product development units into the KDDI’s environment without human intervention.

The CI/CD pipeline speeds up the software acceptance process through the advanced automation of software distribution, deployment, validation and feedback, while reducing human-error risks.

It shortens time to market of new software from months to weeks. Ericsson’s CI/CD pipeline enabled KDDI to deploy complicated sliced and distributed network functions more easily through simplified workflows.

Jan Karlsson, head of Business Area Digital Services, Ericsson, said: “Our 5G core and CI/CD capabilities mean faster time-to-market, higher performance and cost efficiency.”