Juniper Networks has announced an expansion of its partnership with networking giant Ericsson to cover the development of "a complete 5G transport network solution".
"As part of this deepened partnership, Juniper will utilise Ericsson's go-to-market for mobile opportunities and Ericsson will include Juniper's solutions for edge, core, and security as part of its end-to-end 5G transport portfolio," Juniper and Ericsson, which have partnered on networking technologies for 18 years, explained.
The companies said their joint offering across fronthaul/backhaul will include the Ericsson Router 6000 flagship mobile backhaul portfolio and Ericsson Fronthaul 6000 with high-density optical solutions to complement microwave solutions for Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) and eCPRI transport; and Ericsson's 5G-ready Mini-Link technology for microwave radio backhaul.
For WAN services and IP transport, the product includes Juniper's MX and PTX-series solutions to support mobile infrastructure for 10G/100G/400G optical transport, with its Junos OS -- Junos Node Slicing, Juniper Telemetry Interfaces, and 5G CUPS User Plane -- software.
For security, the companies said Ericsson's radio base stations already come integrated with Juniper's SRX Series Services Gateway for 4G and 5G services, with Juniper saying it will "continue to enhance its security solutions to work efficiently with Ericsson's RAN solutions as they evolve to 5G".
Juniper had announced the fifth generation of its MX routing platform, including custom silicon with built-in encryption and end-to-end security in June.
Lastly, Ericsson's unified management and control solution will be integrated across Juniper and Ericsson's products.
Speaking with ZDNet in Sydney last week, Juniper CEO Rami Rahim had said 5G would see an "evolutionary introduction" rather than an immediate shift by telcos to a new network.
"You might start with the RAN technology but then introduce the back-end functions in time, so it'll take a bit more of an evolutionary approach before we get -- it'll probably still be another year or two before we get to a full-fledged 5G implementation anywhere," Rahim told ZDNet.
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The chief executive added that Juniper's Contrail provides all three key components required for operators: Visibility, network insights, and automation.
Automation solves what Rahim called the "single most important problem" in the industry -- complexity, which he said bogs down enterprises and telco operators, slowing innovation and "trapping talent" in mundane tasks.
"This one single platform with a super easy-to-use interface gives you all three things: The visibility into what's happening in the network so you're not running your network blind; the insights that comes from powerful analytics engine that converts that visibility into nuggets of wisdom that can be used for a variety of things," Rahim told ZDNet.
"But one of the most important things is automation, and it's there, it's all about intent-based automation, so rather than having to be a routing expert or an MPLS expert or a cloud security expert ... you specify the intent and you leave the complexity and the abstraction of that complexity to us at Juniper."
Taking such complexity away from telcos during their move to cloud will ensure they are able to remain profitable in an industry packed with cloud providers and over-the-top players, Rahim said.
"With telcos, it's all about that transition from becoming connectivity providers to being true cloud providers offering next-generation services to their customers; with enterprises, it's around moving to a multi-cloud architecture, and we have solutions for that," he explained.
"If we can make that easier for them, then they can move faster and that would benefit them. Enterprises are all trying to grapple with this move to a multi-cloud strategy where they have applications and assets that sit in private datacentres but also in the public cloud, and it's too difficult to do so we will have solutions that will allow them to achieve that again with security and with simplicity."
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