Ericsson, Qualcomm and BT conduct 5G SA network slicing trial

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BT, Ericsson, and Qualcomm have successfully conducted a trial showcasing the capabilities of 5G Standalone (SA) network slicing.

The trial – conducted at Adastral Park, BT Group’s hub for research and innovation – demonstrated the potential for differentiated connectivity for both consumers and enterprises using Ericsson’s 5G Core and Radio Access Network technology, powered by devices equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy Mobile Platform.

Greg McCall, Chief Networks Officer at BT, said: “Network slicing will enable us to deliver new and improved capabilities for customers in the 5G SA era.

“As we work diligently towards the launch of our own 5G SA network, today’s successful demonstration of how slicing enables us to differentiate Quality of Service to guarantee performance for different segments is a significant milestone, and illustrative of the new services that will be enabled by 5G SA.”

By leveraging network slicing technology, the trial established distinct slices for gaming, enterprise, and Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) applications. This allowed for dynamic partitioning of the 5G SA network, ensuring optimal performance for bandwidth-intensive activities such as mobile gaming and video conferencing—even during peak usage periods.

With mobile gaming experiencing exponential growth, network slicing is poised to play a pivotal role in enhancing user experiences.

BT-owned EE, the UK’s largest network, has witnessed a nearly twofold increase in gaming traffic since the start of 2023 and now surpasses two petabytes of data monthly. The trial showcased the importance of low-latency, jitter-free, and immersive experiences in gaming, with network slicing anticipated to drive performance and growth in the 5G SA era.

During the trial, the partners demonstrated an optimal mobile cloud gaming experience using Nvidia’s GeForce Now platform. Throughput levels remained consistently high, exceeding the recommended 25 Mbps at 1080p resolution, even under background load conditions.

A gaming session on Fortnite was initiated using the Samsung S23 Ultra. Ericsson’s implementation of network slicing and Radio Resource Partitioning on EE’s network ensured a seamless gaming experience, highlighting the benefits of optimised network configurations.

Furthermore, the trial validated the potential of network slicing for BT Group’s enterprise customers. Utilising enterprise and eMBB slices configured via URSP rules, the trial showcased consistent 4K video streaming and enterprise use-cases on the Samsung S23 Ultra. Stable connections and low jitter were crucial for enterprise communications platforms and video applications such as YouTube, with Ericsson’s 5G RAN Slicing feature ensuring an optimal experience.

Katherine Ainley, CEO of Ericsson UK & Ireland, said: “5G standalone and network slicing demonstrates that leading operators like EE will be able to offer customers tailored connectivity with different requirements on speed, latency, and reliability for specific applications, such as video streaming and gaming.

“This ultimate next step in connectivity will enable new service offerings for consumers and businesses who require premium performance, while helping to drive future market growth and innovation for the UK in a wide range of new industries.”

(Image Credit: BT Group)

See also: SK Telecom and Intel develop low-latency 6G Core tech

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