Swisscom, NETSCOUT and Ericsson announce world’s first cloud-based 5G packet data processing solution

October 11, 2022

> Swisscom, NETSCOUT and Ericsson strengthen mobile network visibility with the world’s first solution for cloud-based 5G packet data processing – significantly enhancing network service security, analytics and cybersecurity.
> By combining Ericsson’s cloud-native 5G core network with built-in software probes and NETSCOUT’s vSTREAM, the solution addresses the industry’s challenge of end-to-end monitoring and securing 5G networks as they work with cloudification and encryption.
> This enables Swisscom to ensure the delivery of new and existing innovative mission-critical services with 5G.

Data processing and monitoring of network functions can now be done 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 analyse raw data.

As the incumbent approach to data collection is no longer fit for purpose, the updated network solution will replace the traditional virtualised mobile network function (where traffic is routed from the cloud and physically processed in the traditional way). Instead, it will enable cloud-based packet data processing and network function monitoring, which will significantly improve network service security, analytics and cyber security.

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

Ericsson’s SW Probe is an integrated virtual network probe solution for cloud-native architectures, specifically designed to monitor and troubleshoot cloud-native functions (CNFs) and provide data streams for analysis. It offers two data sources: virtual tapping (virtual terminal access points – vTap) and event reports. The vTAP makes packets available to third-party tools such as NETSCOUT’s vSTREAM, which transforms packet data into intelligent data that can be augmented for service assurance, analytics and cybersecurity, providing actionable intelligence for operations and engineering. Event reporting provides metadata on signalling events that can be used for monitoring and troubleshooting.

This groundbreaking solution gives Swisscom greater insight into its cloud network and the ability to capture network packets at strategic points within a network. Continuous monitoring and deep analysis of networks are essential for ensuring network and subscriber security, troubleshooting and safety monitoring. This in turn will help Swisscom improve the customer experience, significantly reduce total cost of ownership (TCO), protect sensitive data and deliver new and existing 5G services in the cloud, including automatic access to packet data and RAW data in plain text.

Michael Berger, Director of SRE & Tooling, Swisscom, says: “To improve the customer experience and offer new and enhanced services, we needed a network that could provide 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. Swisscom is using it to ensure the quality of the network for Switzerland, which optimises the network and therefore the performance of the services.”

Martin Bürki, Managing Director of Ericsson in Switzerland, says: “Swisscom, Ericsson and NETSCOUT have taken on the challenge of creating end-to-end transparency in 5G networks with cloudification and encryption. With this transparency, Swisscom can now ensure the delivery of new and existing innovative mission-critical services with 5G.”

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