Telefonica will use IBM’s automation software alongside additional tech from Red Hat and Juniper Networks to build its cloud-native 5G core network platform

IBM has announced that it has struck another major 5G deal, this time with Telefonica, working with the Spanish giant to help create Telefonica’s 5G core network platform. 
The multi-year deal will see IBM’s intelligent automation software and services used by the operator to build the 5G platform, which is to be called UNICA Next. Red Hat’s Open Shift and Juniper Networks’ Apstra intent-based networking technology will also be used to create the platform.
According to IBM, their technology will provide the platform with the “agility, reliability, and efficiency required to manage its services and prepare for a future where 5G will transform core network functions”.
“Building out the UNICA Next platform with its next-generation network architecture shows how important it is to build the infrastructure now to support the deployment of 5G. 5G has the potential to support thousands of use cases and applications for consumers and enterprises in all industries. Our collaboration will not only help us to harness the potential of 5G, but also prepare for the future through a hybrid-cloud led technology and business transformation,” said Javier Gutierrez, director of strategy, network, and IT development for Telefónica. “With IBM, Telefónica is combining the latency and bandwidth advancements of 5G with the customization and intelligence of the cloud: we anticipate the results will be transformative in Europe and beyond.”
Telefonica plans to begin deploying UNICA Next in October “across multiple central, regional, and distributed data centres”.
IBM’s presence in the 5G space has been growing steadily in recent years, having already secured related deals with Verizon and Dish in the US.
In fact, this is the second major piece of mobile news from IBM this week, having a few days ago that it is working with Airspan Networks to set up an Open RAN testbed in Germany and France.
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