Verizon has been mum about its 5G core for a while. But today, it announced that it has begun to move customer traffic onto its new cloud-native, containerized 5G core. It said the move comes after initial testing and friendly user trials.

Its 5G core is built on the Verizon Cloud Platform (VCP), a telco cloud that the carrier built internally based on software-defined networking technology. Verizon runs VCP in its own data centers.

Recently, when Verizon announced it had deployed more than 8,000 vRAN cell sites, Verizon said its VCP had been optimized for telco workloads, unique telco regulatory and performance requirements, and tighter integration with other operations systems.

Today, Verizon said that using VCP will allow Verizon’s 5G core to support 5G standalone, hybrid 4G/5G non-standalone, and voice over New Radio (VoNR) services.

“Our mission has always been to build and operate the best, most reliable, highest performing, and secure networks in the world,” said Adam Koeppe, SVP of Network Technology, Strategy, and Planning at Verizon, in a statement. “The 5G core is a critical step in achieving our goal.”

The 5G standalone core’s cloud-native virtualized applications will allow for automated network configuration changes, including the ability to scale up or scale down network capacity for different use cases. And it will allow for real-time resource management of radio access network functions. The new core will also support network slicing.

This summer, AT&T Vice President Gordon Mansfield said that AT&T was waiting to commercialize its 5G SA core until enough devices were ready.

Today, Koeppe said in a statement, “Bringing traffic onto the newly designed core coincides with the ecosystem development around us. With a critical number of customers now having devices that can access the advanced features of the 5G core and the solutions and applications development – especially for enterprise customers – really taking off, now is the ideal time to move traffic onto the new core.”

AT&T just last week said that it’s distributing its 5G core network software in AT&T locations around the country.

T-Mobile has been operating its 5G SA core since 2020, and it’s been working on VoNR. Mansfield said T-Mobile needed to quickly deploy its SA 5G core because its LTE coverage on its AWS or PCS spectrum wasn’t very robust in rural areas. It deployed SA 5G on its 600 MHz spectrum to expand rural coverage. And now it needs VoNR so that voice calls have decent quality.

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