Ericsson boosts closed-loop automation capabilities with deal to buy CENX

Ericsson booth
Ericsson is adding to its OSS stable of products by buying CENX. (Monica Alleven/Fierce Wireless)

Ericsson is upping its operations support systems (OSS) game with Tuesday's news that it's buying CENX.

Ericsson will beef up its OSS and managed service portfolios with the addition of CENX's cloud-native service assurance and automation capablities. By using its distributed cloud platform, Ericsson will be able to offer CENX's closed-loop automaton and service assurance abilities to service providers that are looking to deploy 5G. Closed-loop automation allows carriers to leverage network virtualization while orchestrating and automating network slices that can serve enterprise customers.

The two companies had partnered with each other prior to Tuesday's announcement.

"Dynamic orchestration is crucial in 5G-ready virtualized networks," said Ericsson's Mats Karlsson, head of solution area OSS, in a prepared statement. "By bringing CENX into Ericsson, we can continue to build upon the strong competitive advantage we have started as partners. I look forward to meeting and welcoming our new colleagues into Ericsson.”

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CenturyLink, Verizon and AT&T are among the telcos that are actively building out closed-loop service assurance in their networks. In order to speed up the deployments of closed-loops, they were included in Open Network Automation Platform's Beijing software release earlier this year under the auspices of "CLAMP," which stands for Control Loop Automation Management Platform.

CENX, which was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey, will be able to stand on the shoulders of Ericsson's global sales team and be part of its R&D efforts. Ericsson expects to create economies of scale with CENX and offer in-house solutions for OSS automaton and assurance.

Ericsson has held a minority stake in CENX since 2012. CENX's 185 employees are expected to join Ericsson once the deal closes. Ericsson didn't release the financial details of the deal, and also didn't say when the deal is slated to close.