With recent Dell'Oro and GlobalData reports and news sharing; “Ericsson Maintains Top Ranking For Seventh Year Running”, “Ericsson Beats Huawei & Cisco as No. 1 NFV EPC Vendor”, "EPC market is booming, and Ericsson is leading it", “Ericsson ranked as the number one vendor”, at least I get curious to talk to Peo Lehto, Head of Product Line Packet Core within Business Area Digital Services, and get his reflections. Further down, don’t miss a complimentary copy of the GlobalData Ericsson virtual EPC (vEPC), Product Assessment report.
Let’s catch up with Peo Lehto
-Hi Peo, this must be encouraging readings. Are you surprised?
- Peo: “This is very rewarding. I get daily confirmation that we are addressing both current and new customers’ needs. I do feel that we’ve now come to a point where service providers perceive our vEPC as more performant and more mature than many of our competitors.”
- Why all the news now?
- Peo: "Virtualization is the biggest thing that is happening in the Telecom industry and it has been ongoing for quite some years now. NFV is very much affecting the packet core part of the network. The reason is very simple. We are using more and more data and there is a need for further expanding the packet core networks. The idea of building the packet core networks using virtualization technology appeals to basically all service providers around the world. It is happening everywhere and we have a lot of experiences from commercial live vEPC networks since Q4 2015."
- Any recent contracts you can share?
- Peo: "I would like to share a lot! Like Tier-1 break-ins in Europe and India, increased market share in US, continued strong position and market share in China as well as 5G commercial contracts in US, Europe and Asia. But let’s keep to the public announcements. Some of the 5G and vEPC contracts include Swisscom, Verizon and Wind, all deploying our virtual EPC and preparing for the 5G core evolution."
- Finally, any key items in the Ericsson strategy, supporting the good momentum?
- Peo: "For sure, this could be a long answer! One part is that our portfolio is Cloud infrastructure agnostic. We can address multiple customer needs as we are optimizing vEPC performance and workflows together with the leading cloud providers VMware & Red Hat in addition to the Ericsson e2e system verified NFVi solution. Another part is automation. We have been working with Continuous Integration & Deployment (CI&CD), automated acceptance tests (AAT) and automated workflows for years now. This has proven to reduce OPEX in testing with up to 65% at service providers like Swisscom and we see an increasing interest from the whole industry in what we are doing here. Additionally, the support for massive IoT uptake. IoT Core network slices are now being introduced in scale, and we have more than 30 commercial contracts for Massive IoT across all regions. And last but not least, the Evolution path toward 5G. We have verified 5G e2e support including 5G radio and terminals as well as proven capabilities to manage high peak rates. We provide a smooth evolution where the same uniform cloud software system can be deployed to support both 5G None-Stand Alone and 5G Stand Alone 3GPP architectures. We call this 5G Dual mode operation, and it is something that resonates very well with service providers. Of course our offering supports the core network evolution journey whether having a complete Ericsson core today or if using only certain building blocks from us, or using a legacy EPC from another vendor."
- Thank you Peo, let’s catch up soon again!
Recent Dell’Oro and GlobalData reports
So, coming back to the recent analyst reports. Let’s have a look what the analysts are saying.
According to the published report Wireless Packet Market Update from Dell’Oro Group, Evolved Packet Core (EPC) revenues hit a record level for 2017. Ericsson maintained the top market ranking for the seventh year running, followed by Huawei and Nokia.
Recently the 1Q18 report was published stating that the growth continues. David Bolan, Senior Analyst at Dell’Oro Group says: “Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) takes flight for Evolved Packet Core (EPC) with 142% year-to-year growth rate in 1Q18. Ericsson ranked as the number one vendor. NFV has been promoted for many years now and it appears 5G is the impetus to get the market moving for wireless service providers.”
Glen Hunt, Principal Analyst at GlobalData says: “Ericsson continuously advances its mobile core solutions to meet new market requirements, from 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE and 5G, by delivering software and hardware without disrupting an operator’s ongoing business. In our latest ‘Ericsson virtual EPC, Product Assessment report’, April 2, 2018, Ericsson has once more been rated a ‘Leader’.”
Earlier this year we have also announced GlobalData gives Ericsson top ranking for its policy control solution in its April 2018 edition of the Policy Control Competitive Landscape Assessment.
Thank you for reading this post. Below is a complimentary copy of the GlobalData Ericsson virtual EPC, Product Assessment report.
If you find it interesting also listen to a Podcast with Dez Blanchfield, where he interviews Peo Lehto Head of Product Line Packet Core at Ericsson.