Ericsson, Juniper announce updates to joint 5G transport offerings

The two companies have already signed more than 20 new customers since announcing their joint effort in September.

Nearly six months after announcing a joint transport offering, Ericsson and Juniper are announcing the next phase of their partnership, with enhanced offerings and solid customer momentum behind them. By combining their network equipment and services,  Ericsson and Juniper are catering to service providers that are preparing to deploy 5G networks and support additional bandwidth growth.

"In a lot of instances, our joint customers are trying to figure out how to handle the massive demands of new traffic," Sally Bament, Juniper's VP of Service Provider Marketing, said to ZDNet. "Whether it's 5G related or 4G related or video applications, what we're finding is all of the additional end points and the higher bandwidth that traffic is demanding is placing more pressure on infrastructure."

The joint offering now includes routers from Ericsson and Juniper, for both fronthaul and backhaul, enabling control from the cell site to the packet core network. It also enables security, management and orchestration.

The offering is being upgraded with end-to-end network slicing capabilities. Juniper's SDN controller, NorthStar, works with Ericsson Dynamic Orchestration to provide control from the cell site to the packet core network, including the data center gateway. This allows a customer to set up and automate an end-to-end slice with specific service attributes, whether it's related to latency, performance or capacity.

Ericsson's Wide Area Network Orchestrator (WANO) acts as a hierarchical SDN controller in charge of configuring connectivity services. Slicing in the transport domain is also enhanced by combining soft network slicing through Ericsson Dynamic Orchestration and hard network slicing through Junos node slicing on Juniper's MX Series portfolio.

To improve security, solutions from Juniper are being integrated into the Ericsson RAN offerings. Specifically, Ericsson security functionality is complemented with Juniper SRX and vSRX gateway products. Juniper PTX, MX and SRX will be natively integrated into Ericsson Security Manager.

Since unveiling their joint solution, Ericsson and Juniper have won more than 20 new customers from around the world, including the mobile telecommunication operator TrueMove in Thailand, the Finnish telecommunications company DNA and the Pakistani mobile network operator Jazz. Bament said their new customers span the Americas, EMEA and APAC.

The need for automation, orchestration capabilities and security have been driving interest from service providers, Bament said.

"We're seeing the need to, quite frankly, simplify the operations of their infrastructure, again in preparation for 5G," she said. "The networks are getting more complex to manage, so anything related to automation and to simplify the management of networks is really key."

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