The fully virtualised, cloud-based network core offers enhanced security and cost benefits, according to Three UK

UK mobile network operator, Three, has begun testing of the world’s first fully cloud based 5G network core, in collaboration with Nokia.  

The fully virtualised, cloud-based network core is 5G ready and Three is currently using it to power a trial network for its employees. The UK’s fourth biggest MNO says that if the trials are successful, it will look to use the core in the network services it provides to its consumer group customers, later this year. 

The cloud-based network core boasts a range of benefits, including scalable capacity and increased cost effectiveness. Three and Nokia also claim that the virtualised core is more reliable and offers a greater degree of network security than its physical counterpart.  

"In order to use the core network, we have to ensure that all of our mobile sites are connected to our new core. We achieved this milestone in December 2018.  This means all of our customers will be able to enjoy the benefits of the new core network when it goes live," said a Three UK spokesman. 

The UK is expected to launch 5G in the second half of 2019, with commercial offerings from Three expected in early 2020. Three has the biggest allocation of spectrum of any of the UK’s mobile network operators, with 100MHz of contiguous spectrum in the 3.4-3.8GHz range. 

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