The fifth generation of mobile communications, 5G, has attracted users with high bandwidths and short data transit times. However, at the slimmed-down MWC mobile communications trade fair, another 5G innovation is coming into focus.
At the Mobile World Congress, the world’s first implementation of a new 5G mobile function was announced on Monday, with which network providers can give their customers a service guarantee. The performance of the so-called “end-to-end (E2E) network slicing” was implemented by Deutsche Telekom, the network supplier Ericsson and Samsung Electronics with a commercially available smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S21 5G).
With network slicing, the cellular network is divided into specialized segments to meet the most diverse requirements for data rates, speeds and capacities. The net is figuratively cut into “slices”. This is where the term network slices come from. The layers adapt to the requirements of the application. In traffic, for example, the technology could provide passengers with a network layer with high bandwidth for streaming videos. In contrast, another layer provides the data with a remarkably rapid response to network the driving functions of cars.
However, the demonstration of the world premiere did not take place on the exhibition grounds in Barcelona but was implemented in the Deutsche Telekom laboratory in Bonn. The three companies involved announced that the process could also be used for online games based on cloud streaming. For the best gaming experience, a specially optimized network disk can be provided for short response times.
At the same time, a business customer can use a security-critical application on a separate slice in the same radio cell. “Both customers get a guaranteed quality of service.”
Claudia Nemat, Telecommunications Board Member for Technology and Innovation, said the new network feature forms the basis for creating new service offerings for private and corporate customers. Ericsson technology boss Erik Ekudden said that network slicing is a vital tool to generate revenue with 5G. “With the technology that enables software-defined virtual networks with specific properties, new digital services for consumers and companies are becoming a reality.”