SK Telecom and Ericsson have made a breakthrough, successfully demonstrate "network slicing"
A lot of technologies will be vital to a successful 5G network and one of them is ‘network slicing’. This refers to having a single physical network which is then partitioned into multiple virtual networks, each of which can support different 5G services.
There will be a lot of different applications for 5G, from self-driving cars, to streaming video, to virtual reality and everything in between, so it’s vital that the network is optimised to deal with each of these, hence the need to split it into multiple virtual networks.
This has always been a problem though, as it requires multiple virtual networks to share a single physical space.
But that problem may have been overcome, as SK Telecom and Ericsson have just successfully carried out the world’s first demonstration of the technology, having found a way to completely isolate and protect the virtual network slices from one another.
The demonstration of 5G network slicing is the first major milestone following the two companies Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) focused on collaborating on the development of a 5G core network with network slicing technology.
This technology could be a real breakthrough and already drawing attention from operators worldwide, as well as standardisation bodies such as 3GPP and ITU, software solution providers and major equipment vendors as a practical solution for supporting diverse 5G services in a reliable and efficient manner.
Ulf Ewaldsson, Ericsson CTO said, “The development of 5G is in a very exciting phase right now with important achievements in research and development. The success with the network slicing technology is critical to enable the network to be an innovation platform for new types of applications and thereby meet the future expectations.”
SK Telecom and Ericsson aren’t stopping there though, with the two now preparing to launch a joint 5G testbed at SK Telecom’s Corporate R&D Centre, to set up a state of the art end-to-end 5G system.
Useful reading : Ericsson 5G Systems White Paper