IBM notched another win in the mobile operator space, with Telefonica tapping its automation software alongside technology from Red Hat and Juniper Networks to create its first cloud-native 5G core network platform.

The Spain-based operator selected IBM’s Cloud Pak for Network Automation and Global Business Services for system integration, alongside Red Hat’s Open Shift and Juniper Networks’ Apstra intent-based networking technology.

Telefonica stated the multi-year deal with IBM underpins its UNICA Next platform, which is designed to be “open-standard open-networking technology compliant”.

It plans to begin deploying UNICA Next in October “across multiple central, regional, and distributed data centres offering low latency and high bandwidth, while able to deliver services in an agile manner”.

IBM will connect a US-based research laboratory with Telefonica’s Network Cloud Lab in Spain to provide continuous integration and deployment in the operator’s 5G network.

Javier Gutierrez, director of strategy, network, and IT development at Telefonica, explained the operator is “combining the latency and bandwidth advancements of 5G with the customisation and intelligence of the cloud”, predicting results which are “transformative in Europe and beyond”.

Earlier this week, IBM unveiled a 5G private network testbed to be operated with RAN technology developer Airspan Networks.

IBM also has 5G core network software deals with Verizon and Dish Network.