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Press Release -- February 19th, 2016
Source: Ericsson

SoftBank deploys Ericsson virtual MME and Ericsson Cloud Platform

  • Deployment represents a complete Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) solution
  • By adding a virtualized environment to its native network, SoftBank can scale network capability, flexibility and manageability
  • Transformation supports SoftBank in the deployment of future applications and meets the requirements of the Internet of Things and 5G

Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC, news, filings) has successfully executed a large-scale cloud transformation project with SoftBank, one of Japan’s leading mobile operators.

The two companies have deployed Ericsson’s virtual Mobility Management Entity (MME), along with Ericsson Cloud Execution Environment (CEE) – based on OpenStack – and Ericsson Cloud Manager for Orchestration (ECM) in SoftBank’s commercial network.

The deployment represents a complete Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) solution, including Virtual Network Functions (VNF), NFV Infrastructure (NFVI), VNF Manager (VNFM) and VNF Orchestration (VNFO). The Ericsson virtual MME operates on commercial off-the-shelf hardware and coexists with native Ericsson MME to extend the pool.

SoftBank is the first Tier 1 operator to complete such a wide-scale deployment of virtual MME in a native MME pool.

By adding a virtualized environment to its native network, SoftBank can scale its network capability, flexibility and manageability. With the Ericsson virtual MME, the operator’s network can be adjusted according to capacity needs. A flexible and manageable network means that software upgrade and expansions can be rolled out quickly. This enables SoftBank to launch new services faster and more efficiently, with shorter lead times and lower capex and opex.

In addition, Ericsson’s Cloud Platform can support SoftBank in the deployment of future applications, and meets the requirements of the Internet of Things and 5G.

Yoichi Funabiki, Director Mobile Network Planning Division, Core Network Department, SoftBank, says: “I am proud that we are successfully operating Ericsson virtual MME in our existing native MME pool. The deployment of vMME was completed much faster than with native MME.

“It is a huge benefit to operate NFV to deploy new services quicker while maintaining superior network quality. This is a very important first step toward launching our virtualized core network. I look forward to further expanding this virtualization by working with Ericsson.”

Mikael Eriksson, Head of Ericsson Japan, says: “As a long-term partner to SoftBank, we are very pleased to extend our partnership and collaboration to virtualization and cloud. This successful commercial deployment in such a wide-scale network is not only a global first, but it also demonstrates our commitment to bringing technology and thought leadership to support SoftBank’s continuous success.”

Ericsson at Mobile World Congress 2016

During Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, Ericsson will showcase its unique industry insights, the latest innovation and inspirational discussions that enable powerful new business opportunities. We are in the midst of the societal transformation we call the Networked Society: a society in which mobility, broadband and cloud empower every person and every industry to reach their full potential. Opportunity is everywhere, and companies are transforming according to the role they have chosen to play in the value chains and ecosystems of the Networked Society.

Join us in our Hall (Hall 2, Stand 2N60) to learn about 5G, the Internet of Things and cloud, and to discuss the impact digital transformation can have on people, business and society.

Follow the conversation online:


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Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society – a world leader in communications technology and services. Our long-term relationships with every major telecom operator in the world allow people, business and society to fulfill their potential and create a more sustainable future.

Our services, software and infrastructure – especially in mobility, broadband and the cloud – are enabling the telecom industry and other sectors to do better business, increase efficiency, improve the user experience and capture new opportunities.

With approximately 115,000 professionals and customers in 180 countries, we combine global scale with technology and services leadership. We support networks that connect more than 2.5 billion subscribers. Forty percent of the world’s mobile traffic is carried over Ericsson networks. And our investments in research and development ensure that our solutions – and our customers – stay in front.

Founded in 1876, Ericsson has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Net sales in 2015 were SEK 246.9 billion (USD 29.4 billion). Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX stock exchange in Stockholm and the NASDAQ in New York.


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