Ericsson, Oppo, and Qualcomm have successfully tested 5G enterprise network slicing on a commercially available smartphone, paving the way for the technology to be deployed more widely.
Network slicing is viewed by operators as one of the biggest revenue opportunities of standalone 5G (5G SA) networks which use an entirely virtualised, cloud-based core network and effectively allows them to section of certain parts of the network for certain applications.
Slices can be customised to guarantee a certain speed or latency, and to cover a particular location, enabling industrial, broadcast, healthcare, and public service use cases. For example, one network slice could carry video traffic at a stadium, while another slice is reserved for safety officials.
Although slicing is possible with LTE, the ultrafast speeds, greater capacity, and ultralow latency of 5G will support more advanced applications, while the software-defined and cloud-based core layer of the networks will enable the flexibility and automation required to provision and manage any number of slices.
This particular trial was conducted at Oppo’s 5G communications lab and successfully demonstrated application and network traffic partitioning using Ericsson’s network kit and Oppo Find X5 Pro handset running Android 12 and powered by Qualcomm’s processor and modem technology.
It builds on previous lab tests from a variety of vendors and industry stakeholders, but the use of a commercial handset is a significant milestone.
“5G network slicing enables enterprises to meet their network security, reliability and flexibility needs,“ said Monica Zethzon, Head of Solution Area Packet Core at Business Area Cloud Software and Services, Ericsson. “This solution, created in partnership with Oppo and Qualcomm and underpinned by Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core and 5G RAN Slicing technologies, provides a foundation for CSPs to deliver more tailored 5G services for enterprises.”
“5G enterprise network slicing is the key to realising 5G-differentiated applications,” added Xia Yang, Senior Director of Carrier Product Line at Oppo. “Oppo will leverage our strengths in innovation and collaboration across the tech ecosystem to advance the commercialisation of 5G enterprise slicing technology.
“Together with our partners, we will enable a wide range of OPPO product users to be the first to enjoy a customised 5G connectivity experience.”