Telenor R&I successfully conducts its first multi-vendor 5G SA deployment in a hybrid cloud environment

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Telenor Research and Innovation (R&I) has successfully conducted its first multi-vendor 5G standalone (SA) deployment within a hybrid cloud environment, covering both public and private cloud infrastructure.

Automation was a primary and essential objective of the effort, streamlining deployment processes and enabling single-click automated deployments. This milestone underlines the feasibility of creating a "Best of Breed" approach, affording Communication Service Providers (CSP) the latitude to rapidly build and deploy a 5G network in the cloud with their vendors of choice.

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The public cloud was provided by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), while Telenor R&I’s data centre in Oslo hosted the private cloud component. Within OCI, Telenor provisioned and operated control plane components from Oracle and Enea, specifically Oracle's Policy and Routing functions and Enea’s Subscriber Data Management (UDR, AUSF, UDM). Casa Systems’ packet core (AMF, SMF, UPF) as well as cloud-native application protection platform (Prisma Cloud Compute) plus ML-Powered NGFW Strata - both from Palo Alto Networks, run on-premises with Red Hat OpenShift and were fully integrated with the control plane on OCI. Also onboarded to operate on OCI were Nokia's Orchestration Center, Nokia’s Cloud Operation Manager and Emblasoft’s Evolver. Nokia’s Cloud Operations Manager and Nokia’s Orchestration Center managed the complete lifecycle of the multi-vendor 5G core while the Evolver, which is a 5GRadio and UE simulator, provided a comprehensive end-to-end validation of the 5GCore.

The cloud infrastructure deployment was enabled by Terraform and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, tools already used on-premises by Telenor R&I. For this effort, Telenor also seamlessly transitioned to OCI’s Oracle Kubernetes Engine (OKE), a fully managed upstream Kubernetes distribution. This approach with Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools and cloud based managed Kubernetes demonstrated a progressive pathway for CSPs to easily transition their on-prem environments to the cloud.

A notable outcome of this implementation was Telenor R&I’s ability to leverage OCI to elastically scale the 5G core in sync with demand fluctuations, ultimately resulting in substantial cost reductions.

In essence, this pioneering multi-vendor 5G SA deployment in a hybrid cloud stands as a testament to Telenor's commitment to innovation, while also paving the way for CSPs to realise the potential of progressive cloud migration strategies.

About Telenor Research and Innovation:

For more than 55 years, Telenor has invested in research to help the company prepare for and leverage emerging technologies, as well as customer, organisational and regulatory trends. Telenor Research and Innovation consists of a team of experts who take a science-based approach to solving some of the most intricate problems and opportunities facing telecommunications today – providing insight and guidance to top management for more informed decision-making. We work with the knowledge that the technologies and solutions we develop not only have the power to improve individual lives, they can also help societies in creating a better future for all.