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Three and Nokia launch 5G-ready cloud core network

Jasper Hart
July 16, 2019

Operator claims it is a world first

Three and Nokia today announced that they have launched the world’s first 5G-ready cloud core network ahead of Three’s rollout of 5G later this year.

The operator claims that the new network will allow it to scale more quickly and efficiently due to it being in a virtual environment, as well as providing a smoother experience for customers. Three has increased the number of data centres it owns and runs from three to 21 to support the launch.

Three has tested the network with 3,500 Three employees and has begun migrating 4G customer traffic onto the new core, a process which its director of business transformation Tim Boyd told assorted media this morning (July 16) at a briefing that it would expect to finish by the end of the year. It has currently migrated 1.6 million unique customers onto the network.

Boyd said: “We are changing our entire network, changing our IT systems, and we’re changing our business.”

He explained that Three is upgrading all of its 3G, 4G and 5G sites and that the cloud core network was completely new, using no pre-existing data centres or components of its 4G network.

Nokia provided essential systems integration, security and managed services capabilities alongside Nokia routing, software, and mobile radio technology.

The network is part of a £2 billion investment from Three into its 5G infrastructure, and will enable better customer service. According to Three, its customers use on average 8.3GB of data per month, which is about three and a half times more than the industry average.

Commenting on the news, Three CEO Dave Dyson said: “Our new core network is part of a series of investments, totalling £2 billion, that will provide a significant step change in our customers’ experience. UK consumers have an insatiable appetite for data as well as an expectation of high reliability. We are well positioned to deliver both as we prepare for the launch of the UK’s fastest 5G network.”

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