On Monday, Ericsson, Deutsche Telekom, and Samsung culminated the world’s first 5G end-to-end network slicing trials. The network test, which was the first of its kind, was done at the Bonn lab on a Samsung S21 commercial device tethered to a VR headset. The advantages of 5G over other network generations are many, and network slicing is one of the ways those advantages can be transmitted to the users. Among the many use cases which can be exploited through the 5G network, they need to happen in isolation. One way to accomplish this is to “slice” the network into multiple layers. This is what the experiment was about in simple terms.
Isolated Network as a Means to Better Experience
As per Ericsson's 5G E2E network slicing, different service characteristics and quality parameters can be provided to the customers depending on the need of each slice and network isolate. One single physical network is divided into many isolated chambers, and for each chamber, a different service model can be catered to.
For example, the VR headset connected to the S21 experimental device was optimised for gaming with higher throughput and stable low latency while also providing resource isolation between the two slices. The experiment is important for the testing of another important feature as well, which is the 5G UE slicing policy feature. This basically means that simply slicing the network is not enough, but the device that the users have should be able to select the right slice and serve the right applications on the slice for the best experience.
Partnership Between Ericsson and Samsung Major Catalyst
Claudia Nemat, Board Member, Technology & Innovation, Deutsche Telekom, lauded the accomplishment which happened because of the joint effort of Samsung and Ericsson. Erik Ekudden, Group CTO at Ericsson, also added that 5G slicing and the 5G UE slicing policy feature is one of the foundational monetisation features for the 5G network. He further said that to bring these technologies to the customers, the companies should test the infrastructure within themselves. As an advantage, the right network slice will be able to provide a great experience to the users even during congested network times.