Ericsson introduces first 5G network platform

Before and after the introduction of federated network slicing technology

Before and after the introduction of federated network slicing technology

Ericsson along with Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom have demonstrated a proof of concept with the first intercontinental 5G trial, where network slices were made available in other operator's footprint. In the tests, which were a joint cooperation with SK Telecom Korea, round-trip latencies of approximately 4ms were achieved, terminating at a gateway outside the experimental core.

Ericsson's feature-packed 5G core and platform is built on time-tested virtual networking and packet routing tropes that have served operators well for years, in some cases since the 3G era. The 5G New Radio (NR) operated over 15GHz on 800Mhz bandwidth. "With this world's first intercontinental 5G trial network, we truly demonstrate the provisioning of network slices to global customers when overseas". In the past, costly equipment were separately required and adjusted to individual conditions in different host countries to realize a home country network for 5G-based services like connected vehicle and IoT applications.

SK Telecom chief technology officer Alex Jinsung Choi said: "5G is not just a faster network".

Federated network slices will put different operators on the same page about what needs special performance and how to deliver it, Ericsson says. This could allow operators of dedicated networks to have functionality specific to a customer or to the service being provided.

Mr Bansal said operators will have to find new business models as 5G opens up new revenue streams such as industry.

Also on Wednesday, Ericsson previewed a distributed cloud capability, which will let carriers move applications and workloads closer to their access networks, the cell towers and small cells that users see and connect with over mobile devices.

But he added: "The first available 5G phone, we are talking early 2019 when you and I will be able to buy one".

The trial saw a 5G network constructed in Germany and South Korea, and showed what would happen when 5G users go aboard and connect to another 5G network. It can span private and public networks on licensed and unlicensed spectrum, starting with LTE and Wi-Fi and later evolving to include 5G, said Jane Rygaard, head of Advanced Mobile Solutions marketing at Nokia. The created slices then can be used in various applications, including V2X and connected cars. "It is an important milestone enabling operators to continue their evolution journey to 5G".

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