Expanding the range of devices for network slicing will open up new use cases, says Ericsson
Ericsson partnered with Intel and Microsoft to trial network slicing at its lab in Sweden, showing that multiple network slices can be used on cellular-connected Windows 11 laptops for applications like gaming and workplace collaboration.
5G network slicing, a feature of a cloud-native 5G network architecture, leverages the principles behind network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN), allowing for flexible, programmable converged networks wherein disparate services that would typically require parallel systems reside on a single infrastructure. In such an architecture, each network “slice” is an isolated, bespoke end-to-end network tailored to fulfill the requirements of a particular application.
Ericsson has previously called network slicing “the operators’ best answer on how to build and manage a network that meets and exceeds the emerging requirements from a wide range of users.”
For this trial, the partners used Ericsson’s network slicing, 5G core and RAN slicing solutions to secure end-user service differentiation, as well as User Equipment Route Selection Policy (URSP), a capability that enables devices to automatically select between different slices according to which application they are using.
“This trial illustrates the opportunities for 5G monetization beyond smartphone devices and opens the door to a wider 5G device ecosystem, allowing CSPs and other members of the telecoms and IT world to expand their horizons when considering opportunities to generate profitable use cases for 5G,” Ericsson stated. “Laptop type devices, in particular, are vital to enterprise productivity. The inclusion of Windows 11 laptops in the ranks of devices that can be used for commercializing 5G network slicing is a sign of the ecosystem maturing.”
According to Sibel Tombaz, head of product line 5G RAN at Ericsson, the trial shows that it’s possible to expand the range of devices for network slicing and that doing so “will allow new business segments to create a variety of use cases for consumer and enterprises.”