Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G core will reportedly enable the development of new 5G use cases for mobile users as well as enterprise and industry partnership

Some months ago, Ericsson was selected as SoftBank’s primary 5G RAN vendor and today it has been announced that their partnership will extend to include building out the core of the Japanese giant’s standalone 5G network.
The deal will see Ericsson provide SoftBank with its Cloud Packet Core, its Cloud Unified Data Management and Policy, and Ericsson NFVI.
“Ericsson’s cloud native dual-mode 5G Core provides the cutting-edge container-based microservice architecture that will help SoftBank to both develop new business models towards consumers, enterprise and industry partners as well as to move onto the next level of network operational efficiency,” said Luca Orsini, head of Ericsson Japan.
This microservice architecture will allow for zero-touch network operation, enabling continuous delivery and integration processes through the use of automation.
“Japan is a leading 5G telecom market and together with Ericsson we are building a new platform of innovation for the country,” said Keiichi Makizono, senior vice president and CIO of SoftBank. “Under our new agreement, we will extend our long-term partnership and provide a high quality and future-proof platform enabling a new wave of innovation for Japanese society.”
In their press release about this deal, Ericsson also noted that it is closing in on 100 commercial 5G agreements or contracts, as well as supporting 54 live 5G networks. 
Back in February, rival Huawei boasted 90 commercial 5G contracts, up 30 from the previous year in spite of US political pressure. At the time, Huawei championed this figure as indicating their 5G lead over Ericsson and other rivals; now, with fresh sanctions hitting the Chinese company hard, it is unclear if they still retain this overall lead in contract numbers.
Regardless, Ericsson’s extended cooperation with SoftBank is a major feather in their cap and continues to strengthen their relationship, which began with 2G many years ago.
SoftBank has been in the news frequently in recent months, selling a large number of assets in order to raise funds to buy back shares and reduce its debt. Latest speculations indicate that its chip company Arm may be being sold.
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