5G Network Slicing Was Demonstrated In First Time Practice

5G Network Slicing Was Demonstrated In First Time Practice

The world is still waiting for 5G technology to materialize, despite its promises to transform mobile networking. Major network providers are making great strides toward providing more 5G network building blocks in the meantime.

At its Adastral Park research lab, BT Group recently showcased its 5G network slicing capabilities. After much anticipation, the British telecom giant has finally demonstrated that network slicing, which is expected to be a crucial component of the 5G standard, can optimize bandwidth and service delivery on next-generation mobile networks.

A network virtualization architecture called 5G network slicing basically splits mobile broadband into separate logical networks called “slices.” Within the same physical 5G network infrastructure, these slices can operate as separate end-to-end connectivity services. A 5G Standalone (5G SA) network is necessary for proper 5G slicing; it is an entirely independent 5G infrastructure that lacks any compatibility bridges or middlemen for 4G networks.

BT Group utilized a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra smartphone, powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, and a 5G SA from Ericsson to show network slicing in action. According to BT, the mobile device could connect to various 5G slices for business, personal and Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) network applications.

As per BT, 5G network slicing can potentially improve latency, performance, and bandwidth availability while offering a “immersive experience” in the future 5G SA era. Using Nvidia’s cloud platform GeForce Now, the slicing paradigm was tested with a “optimal” experience, maintaining a data throughput above the suggested 25 Mbps rate for 1080p gameplay.

While enterprise use cases were tested with eMBB slices, which can provide multiple connections to different network slices simultaneously, BT also started a native Fortnite session. Because of a steady connection and minimal jitter, the Samsung S23 Ultra test device was able to maintain a “consistent” 4K video stream.

5G network slicing, according to BT Chief Networks Officer Greg McCall, allows telecoms to “differentiate quality of service” with optimized performance for various market segments. According to McCall, the slicing demo has been a huge accomplishment and a preview of the new services that users will be able to access on 5G SA networks.

Every single piece of the 5G SA-based patchwork of various virtual networks that BT Group is developing is sold to a separate mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). Many physical operators are planning to sell portions of their 5G SA networks, according to Gartner VP analyst Bill Ray, but enterprise organizations interested in becoming MVNOs have yet to emerge.

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