Ericsson and Vodafone achieve network slicing in UK
Ericsson defines network slicing as a telco operator’s best solution to build and manage a network that meets and exceeds the emerging requirements of a wide range of users. Network slicing is normally achieved through a set of logical networks on top of a shared infrastructure.
The new service for business customers and application developers is enabled by the deployment of 5G Standalone networks. The service allows communication service providers (CSPs) to create multiple virtual network slices which operate across the same physical network. Each slice is isolated from other network traffic to give dedicated performance and eliminate the risk of network congestion, with the features of the slice tailored to the use case requirements.
According to an in-depth study by Ericsson, network slicing has a US$ 200 billion value for CSPs. The study also estimates that 30% of the potential future 5G use cases will need network slicing as an enabler.
With that said, it’s no surprise why CSPs are eager to deploy 5G networks as it provides them endless opportunities, especially in developing use cases for the enterprise segment. In the UK, Ericsson and Vodafone have successfully completed the country’s first 5G standalone network slicing trial in a joint lab demonstration to create on-demand 5G connectivity and dedicated performance for consumers and business customers.
The first of its kind lab trial for a CSP in the UK demonstrated an on-demand premium 5G network slice using Ericsson’s 5G Standalone containerized core architecture and end-to-end automated orchestrated solution, including 5G RAN slicing. The network slice was configured to provide the low latency and high bandwidth experience required for a virtual reality use case.
Interestingly, the entire process took just 30 minutes. This includes placing an order to the creation of the network slice to carry live network traffic. The successful trial demonstrates the ability for CSPs to deliver new services with faster time to market for automated and customized connectivity.
Andrea Spaccapietra, VP Digital Services at Ericsson UK & Ireland commented that network slicing will play a crucial role in enabling new and innovative 5G services for consumers and enterprises.
“With the tools to efficiently manage network resources and provide differentiated services with dedicated performance, leading network operators like Vodafone can enable new business model innovation and use cases across different sectors and unlock new revenue opportunities to realize the full potential of 5G,” said Spaccapietra.
For Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer at Vodafone UK, network slicing is an incredibly valuable step forward. By segmenting the network, and customizing different slices for different requirements, she said Vodafone UK can bring to life new ideas that would be impossible otherwise.
“When we configure our network to empower new services, industries like gaming, entertainment and healthcare can enter a new era. What might seem like science fiction is one step closer thanks to network slicing,” added Dona.
By enabling on-demand 5G connectivity and dedicated performance, consumers and enterprises will be able to access a wider range of services and innovative applications that would otherwise not be possible, such as video-assisted remote operations, AR/VR, enhanced event experiences, cloud gaming, smart cities, and applications for Industry 4.0 and public safety.