T-Mobile picks Cisco for nationwide launch of virtual packet core

Multi-tenant office buildings. Image: Pixabay
T-Mobile teams up with Cisco to launch its nationwide virtual packet core. (Pixabay)

T-Mobile announced Wednesday that it has finished up the build-out of its nationwide virtual packet core by using Cisco's distributed SDN architecture.

T-Mobile claimed the deployment was the world's largest for virtual evolved packet core (vEPC), and it's a big win for Cisco's software-defined network (SDN) architecture.

Cisco will continue to reap the rewards of its relationship with T-Mobile as the two companies also announced that they had signed a five-year agreement to continue the build-out of T-Mobile's 5G packet core and policy suite. The deal spans both hardware and software services, which will be a boon to Cisco's bottom line as it transitions away from being a pure hardware provider. Cisco's competitors in the vEPC space include Nokia and Ericsson.

In a week rife with 5G related announcements, T-Mobile said its vEPC spans more than 70 million customers as it shifts from a centralized core architecture to distributed model across its footprint.

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"This means we can further our 5G plans with more flexibility and agility to deliver new services to our customers—and with Sprint we’ll shift it all into overdrive," T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said in a statement.

The virtualized and cloud-native based architecture will allow T-Mobile to launch new services with automated deployments at a quicker and larger rate than it was previously able to do. T-Mobile is prepping for next year's launch of its 5G services with its 600 MHz deployments.