Newly merged UK operator Virgin Media O2 signed up with Ericsson to provide core kit for its standalone (SA) 5G network, with the infrastructure expected to support a range of advanced applications including AR and VR.

Announcing the deal, Ericsson noted it would supply a cloud-native, container-based dual-mode SA 5G core on cloud infrastructure for the UK operator.

The vendor has long been a supplier to mobile operator O2 UK, with the pair’s previous deal centering on an ongoing “network modernisation programme” unveiled in June 2020.

It added the infrastructure would provide the operator with the means to deliver ultra-low latency, high-bandwidth connectivity and use network slicing. Applications include various types of immersive media experiences for enterprise and consumer users, and digital transformation in industry.

The deal is Ericsson’s latest with a large European operator, having announced deployments of similar kit with various Vodafone units earlier this year.

During its latest financial results, for Q2, Ericsson noted 5G momentum across most of its markets with a recent deal with Verizon hailed as the largest in its history.