Telefónica, Ericsson demo end-to-end 5G SA network slicing on smartphones

Telefónica and Ericsson say they conducted a 5G Standalone (SA) network slicing demo, creating dedicated slices for different use cases, using radio resource partitioning technology. Their proof of concept happened at a lab facility in Madrid, Spain. The 5TONIC lab was founded by Telefónica and IMDEA Networks.

The network-slicing-for-enterprise demo was carried out on Android 12 and 13 Beta-powered smartphone devices. Collaborators included smartphone manufacturers Google, Samsung, TCL and Xiaomi and chipset vendors MediaTek, Qualcomm and Samsung.

The demo proved that the onboarding of a network slice — end-to-end from core to radio — could be configured and deployed in less than 35 minutes thanks to the solution’s automation capabilities. 

All the use cases they executed needed a specific and complex service configuration, making full automation key. The different use cases included:

  • A 360-video production in motion in collaboration with technology start-up YBVR;
  • The remote control of an automated guided vehicle (AGV); and
  • Gesture recognition in collaboration with Spanish SME Fivecomm.

Telefónica and Ericsson said the most relevant capabilities of network slicing technology that they validated are:

  • Automation in the provision and life cycle management of end-to-end network slices.
  • Network slicing service assurance.
  • Definition of different scenarios for the traffic prioritization in a network slice, such as Radio Resource Partitioning (RRP) that enables the sharing of radio resources between use cases with different service requirements.
  • Simultaneous access of a handset to different network slices, having the possibility to select the traffic sent to the different network slices.

Telefónica has created an internal program called LIME to accelerate network slicing capabilities across its networks, and it’s collaborating with Ericsson as a key partner. Telefónica, Ericsson and Google have also agreed to share their findings with the GSMA to accelerate the standardization of network slicing and its mass adoption.

Jorge Navais, global account manager of Telefónica, said in a statement, “Ericsson has achieved a key milestone by demonstrating fully-automated deployment of end-to-end network slices (from RAN to core) in cooperation with Telefónica at 5TONIC lab. The deployed network slices will secure dedicated resources in the radio access network as well as in the core for satisfying specific needs of selected use cases, enabling that Telefónica meets new customer demands on a zero-touch operation.”