At Comfone, we know how important it is for our customers to remain at the forefront of new technological developments. 5G networks are now being launched worldwide, and in most cases the radio cellular networks are being turned on first with the core networks following later.
This has meant that mobile operators have started to launch international 5G roaming user their shiny new 5G radio networks but still running on their incumbent 4G/ LTE/ EPC core networks. This is referred to as 5G NSA (Non-Stand-Alone) roaming.
Supporting our customers every step of the way, Comfone’s Key2roam Roaming Hub has been launching 5G NSA roaming relations since 2020. This uses the same network interfaces as 4G/ LTE roaming but allows our customers to take the first step of the 5G roaming journey by upgrading the roaming relations to 5G and testing their 5G radio network for roaming.
What is the next phase of 5G roaming?
Now that the 5G core networks are slowly starting to be rolled out and turned on into production, we are seeing a demand for the next phase of 5G roaming – what is referred to as 5G SA (Stand-Alone) roaming.
5G SA core networks give us a completely new set of standards, functions, elements and interfaces. Oh and the acronyms, there are so many new acronyms!
We are all on a huge learning curve. The technical interworking and roaming standards have not yet even been defined because there are indeed some very important decisions to be made with regards to how much security that we need to build into them versus how much practicality we need to retain, just to allow mobile operators to launch 5G SA roaming.
We have learnt from our past mistakes and don’t want to be lax on security, but we also need the standards to allow the mobile operators to work with vendors as they do today, rather than impose non-practical rules upon the industry, which will inhibit or severely delay the mobile operators from launching 5G SA roaming.
Comfone’s own 5G SA Proof of Concept
Comfone is conducting a 5G SA roaming Proof of Concept for our customers and IPX peering partners. This allows us as a community to delve into these new network elements and protocols and iron out as many incompatibilities as early as possible.
We are connecting 5G SA-ready customers to our 5G SEPPs and performing pre-standard end-to-end roaming tests in a fully managed, secure and controlled environment.
Bilateral and Roaming Hub functions and procedures such as relation-based routing, device testing, service traffic reporting, traffic steering, troubleshooting, and charging are all in the scope of the Comfone 5G SA Roaming PoC.
We are preparing ourselves for the new era of 5G roaming. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are ready to enter this new era with Comfone and are interested in participating on our 5G SA roaming PoC.