Swedish kit vendor Ericsson has teamed up with German operator group Deutsche Telekom to demonstrate a new network slicing proof of concept.

Scott Bicheno

February 21, 2022

2 Min Read
Ericsson and DT reckon they’ve cracked global network slicing

Swedish kit vendor Ericsson has teamed up with German operator group Deutsche Telekom to demonstrate a new network slicing proof of concept.

The point of network slicing is to be able to tailor the characteristics of a network to the requirements of the user. So, for some maximum bandwidth might be the priority, while for others it could be to get the latency as low as possible. It seems that these priorities are, to some extent, mutually exclusive so network slicing was created to enable the ability to pick one.

Presumably this facility is of limited use, especially for the enterprise customers it’s designed for, if it has to be re-established whenever you cross a national border, hence this announcement. Specifically they refer to it as ‘a breakthrough proof of concept implementation of global 5G end-to-end network slicing to facilitate uniform international connectivity for latency-critical enterprise applications with guaranteed quality of service.’ Catchy, eh?

All manner of software cleverness was required to pull this off, we’re told, including SD-WAN and end-to-end service orchestration. The guaranteed quality of service is a key feature of network slicing, with resulting service level agreements presumably vowing a certain minimum level of delivery on pain of refunds and performative grovelling. So the aim of this demo was to show QoS can be maintained across borders – specifically the German Polish one in this case.

“Combining different technologies in an intelligent and flexible way across borders to address the emerging needs of globally operating enterprises is another proof point of the promise that a global 5G ecosystem can offer,” said a somewhat understated Ericsson CTO, Erik Ekudden. American marketing people could learn a thing or two from the Swedes.

“Network slicing is a key 5G enabler to deliver tailored connectivity services to enterprise customers,” said Alex Choi, SVP Technology Strategy & Innovation at DT. “By flexibly combining 5G slicing with SD-WAN in an international setup, we can address the emerging need among enterprises for uniform global connectivity with guaranteed quality of service.”

We’ve been banging on about network slicing for years as a defining feature of 5G but the jury is still out on that. How many companies are willing to pay a premium to fine-tune their 5G network in this way? Was this feature created in response to demand or merely because the likes of Ericsson and DT knew a bit more bandwidth wasn’t enough, by itself, to justify hyping up a new ‘G’? Time will tell and it will be interesting to see what the talk on the show floor of next week’s MWC is on this topic.

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of Telecoms.com, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Telecoms.com Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Telecoms.com Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

You May Also Like