Both major vendors have completed trials with Japanese operator KDDI

With Huawei banned in Japan, major vendors Nokia and Ericsson find themselves mostly head-to-head for the 5G business of the Japanese operators.
This fact was on direct display yesterday, when both vendors announced the completion of 5G trials with KDDI.
Nokia’s announcement came first. Its trial made use of its AirGile cloud-native 5G core, which it claims can be rolled out in a traditional network environment or over the cloud, offering KDDI’s 5G network agility and scalability. 
“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 utilise the communication model of today’s web services to create multiple software instances in a cloud environment,” said the statement.
“For Nokia, 5G is much more than radio. It’s an end-to-end network transformation,” said John Harrington, head of Nokia Japan. 
Ericsson were not to be outdone however, who almost immediately responded by releasing their own trial update.
The Swedish company has reportedly demonstrated its cloud-native Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline delivery for KDDI’s standalone 5G core network. This pipeline will allow the seamless deployment of software without human intervention, greatly shortening the time to market for new software. 
“Agile delivery of services while maintaining high quality and availability is a must in 5G Core networks. Our CI/CD end-to-end software pipeline achieves this,” said Jan Karlsson, head of business area digital services at Ericsson
Both vendors have previously claimed preeminence over KDDI’s 5G business, but yesterday’s dual release shows that the true winner is far from deided. Nokia’s release appears to be the more significant for now, but much can still change between now and KDDI’s planned 5G launch next month.
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