Swisscom, NETSCOUT and Ericsson announce world-first solution enabling 5G packet data processing in the cloud

Swisscom, NETSCOUT and  Ericsson  strengthen network visibility with the world’s first solution for cloud-based packet data processing – significantly increasing network service assurance, analytics and cybersecurity.

WESTFORD, Mass., October 13, 2022 – Data-processing and network function monitoring can now be performed in the cloud, thanks to an industry first solution from Ericsson, Swisscom and NETSCOUT that provides automatic access to packet data and the ability to analyze raw packet data.

With the established approach to data collection being unsustainable, the updated network solution will overhaul the traditional virtualised mobile network function (where data traffic is routed from the cloud and processed physically in a conventional manner). Instead, cloud-based packet data processing and network function monitoring are enabled – dramatically increasing network service assurance, analytics and cybersecurity.

The solution has been introduced to Swisscom’s newly deployed cloud-native, TLS-encrypted 5G network, and integrates Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core with built-in software (SW) probes and NETSCOUT’s vSTREAM.

Ericsson’s SW probe is a built-in virtual network probe solution for cloud native architecture that’s specifically designed to enable the monitoring and troubleshooting of cloud native functions (CNFs) and provide data streams for analytics. It provides two data sources: virtual tapping (virtual terminal access points – vTap) and event reporting. The vTAP makes packets available to third-party instrumentation like NETSCOUT’s vSTREAM, which turns the packet data into smart data extensible to service assurance, analytics and cybersecurity – providing actionable intelligence for operations and engineering. The event reporting provides metadata content on signaling procedures ready to be used for monitoring and troubleshooting purposes.

This groundbreaking solution gives Swisscom better visibility into their cloud network, and the ability to capture network packets from inside a network at strategic points. Continuous monitoring and deep analysis of networks are essential for guaranteeing network and subscriber assurance, troubleshooting and security monitoring. In turn, this will help Swisscom secure 5G customer experience, significantly reduce total cost of ownership (TCO), secure sensitive data, and deliver new and existing 5G mission-critical services within the cloud, including automatic access to packet data and RAW data in clear.

Michael Berger, Director of SRE & Tooling, Swisscom, says: “To improve the user experience and offer new and enhanced services, we needed a network that offers faster and more reliable access. As part of our 5G journey, we chose to work with best-of-breed partners to future-proof our architecture, simplify our operations, and improve our ability to innovate. We have worked closely with our partners Ericsson and NETSCOUT to drive this solution forward. Swisscom is thus ensuring the quality of the network for Switzerland, which will optimise the network and, consequently, the performance of services.”

Martin Bürki, Managing Director Switzerland, Ericsson, says: “Swisscom, Ericsson, and NETSCOUT have addressed the industry challenge of providing end-through-end visibility in 5G networks handling cloudification and encryption. With this visibility, Swisscom can now assure the delivery of new and existing innovative mission-critical services with 5G.”

Maribel Lopez
Manager, Marketing & Corporate Communications
Chris Shattuck
Finn Partners for NETSCOUT