Ericsson brings network slicing live with NTT DOCOMO

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Ericsson has claimed a first in demonstrating network slicing technology across several slices on the same device in a showcase with NTT DOCOMO.

The demonstration involved robots being used for automated building in public and private infrastructure. A head-mounted camera on a robot was able to send live video to a remote datacentre. Real-time analysis could be conducted of the video stream and critical instruction, such as the delivery of dynamic maps, could be sent from the datacentre to the robot.

The vendor said the video and instructions were sent across two different network slices, which it said was an example of how monitoring and security could be carried out by 5G networks.

Jan Häglund, Head of Technology Management, Digital Systems, Ericsson, said: "Continuing our joint development of an industry ecosystem for 5G and IoT together with NTT DOCOMO, we are applying multiple network slices on the same device to enable different services with different characteristics.

"This demonstration showcases just one of the seemingly endless possible use cases that are opening up new business opportunities for both operators and industries."

Network slicing has been widely identified as one of the key use cases of 5G. It allows multiple networks to be created over one piece of shared infrastructure.

Ericsson singled out the automotive, manufacturing and transport industries as particularly appropriate ones for the technology, as it can provide different rates of latency and speed.

In February, Ericsson held a demonstration of network slicing technology with Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom although it was carried out in a lab context.

In March, Telenor Group said it also used network slicing in a private demonstration to show its potential within the healthcare sector.

Earlier this month, Telefónica's Group CTO Enrique Blanco said the race to become first among vendors and operators could actually stymie the development of 5G.