Verizon also highlighted the key benefits it sees from moving from the non-standalone version of 5G to the standalone version, and launching a dedicated standalone 5G core to do so. The company said it would be able to dynamically allocate network resources to specific customers for specific applications, an offering that falls under the promise of “network slicing” in 5G. Verizon also said it would be able to handle real-time resource management in its radio access network, advanced network analytics, and a more scalable and cost-efficient network architecture, among other benefits.

Verizon recently completed the first successful end-to-end data session over its new 5G network standalone core. This new core’s containerized design is being built using a webscale software architecture based on advanced IP based technologies. It will carry 5G traffic and offer unprecedented levels of service agility and automated scalability.

What is a network core 

The network core, consisting of software applications, compute, networking, and storage, is the part of the network that enables IP connectivity between a customer on the Verizon network and the services that a customer wants to use such as Internet access, voice calls and enterprise applications. A higher level of operational autonomy unleashed in the 5G core design will be critical for the next generation of services being enabled by new network technologies to serve consumer and enterprise customers

Key benefits of a new 5G standalone core

The advanced capabilities, high speed, increased bandwidth and low latency of 5G will help inspire development of a wide variety of new use cases that include everything from massive numbers of IoT devices that use very few network resources, to smartphones with nearly infinite opportunities to use data, to more complex solutions such as AR/VR and mixed reality that will require massive computing capabilities on the edge of the network. Those solutions will each require different combinations of network capabilities.

The 5G standalone core’s cloud-native virtualized application, in combination with built-in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), will enable the dynamic allocation of the appropriate resources, referred to as network slicing. It will also allow for automated network configuration changes, including the ability to scale up or scale down network function capacity – to provide the right service levels and network resources needed for each use case.

In addition to network slicing and dynamic resource allocation, a standalone 5G core will provide other benefits:

  • Real-time resource management of Radio Access Network and virtual network functions
  • Advanced analytics of network data to improve network performance
  • Optimized services between Verizon’s fixed and mobile networks
  • Scalable, more cost-efficient architecture
  • Ability to move workloads to fit use case requirements

Following the completion of this successful data session, Verizon expects to start moving traffic on the new core in the second half of 2020 with full commercialization in 2021.