Ericsson maintained its focus on 5G technology development with separate announcements involving Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom in the past two days.
The vendor today (Friday) claimed a world first when it revealed the development of a 5G smart network edge prototype in conjunction with Vodafone. Ericsson said the prototype is the result of a proof of concept agreement that the companies signed during Mobile World Congress in February, and that the pair has already demonstrated its capabilities in tests involving Vodafone's 5G lab in Düsseldorf and Ericsson's Eurolab in Aachen.
Ericsson stated that the demonstrations highlighted the benefits of network slicing and distributed cloud technology using the example of a machine vision application. The vendor explained that machine vision is "increasingly used for quality assurance within manufacturing and production process and to measure or recognise objects."
The vendor added that live demonstrations of the 5G smart network edge at its German facility improved the recognition rate of a cloud-based face detection application by reducing network latency, resulting in a significant drop in the amount of video traffic that had to be sent over a wide area network. Security was also improved because sensitive data was kept locally.
Sonja Graf, head of the Vodafone Innovation Park at Vodafone Germany, hailed the speed with which the partners had produced the 5G proof of concept, and said facial recognition "is just one example demonstrating how 5G will meet the diverse needs of a wide range of industries."
Ericsson this week separately announced it has been appointed as the sole infrastructure supplier in the construction of 5G trial networks in Germany and South Korea, in a three-way partnership involving Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom.
The trial infrastructure will utilise network functions virtualisation (NFV), software-defined infrastructure (SDI), distributed cloud, and network slicing -- technologies Ericsson stated will be key elements of 5G.
Deutsche Telekom CTO Bruno Jacobfeuerborn said the operator regards "network slicing roaming" as a "key enabler to support customers' international operations with an optimised experience."
Ericsson said the partnership also covers development of a 5G ecosystem, global marketing promotions, and potential device standardisation.
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