TPG Telecom selected Ericsson to supply a standalone (SA) 5G core network after the vendor completed a multi-year virtualisation programme allowing the operator to migrate its entire 4G and 5G customer base to a single platform.

In a joint statement, TPG Telecom explained Ericsson will deploy its cloud-native, dual-mode 5G core, with the goal of taking population coverage in ten of Australia’s largest cities and regions to 85 per cent by the end of this year.

Barry Kezik, TPG Telecom executive GM for mobile and fixed networks, stated the virtualisation of its core network enabled it to fast-track the 5G rollout without disrupting 4G services.

“By introducing our new 5G core network, we are ensuring that we can significantly expand our 5G coverage, whilst introducing new and innovative 5G industry applications that are tailored to enterprises.”

Emilio Romeo, head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand, added virtualising TPG Telecom’s core network will be critical in “unleashing the potential of 5G” by delivering tailored services through network slicing and edge capabilities.

TPG Telecom stated 5G service is available in selected areas of more than 700 suburbs, with around 1,600 sites in the planning and design phase.

In July, TPG Telecom and Nokia lit an SA 5G service in the 700MHz band in parts of Sydney.