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Telefónica España expands 5G network slicing trials

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Working with partners, the operator trialled Ultra High-Definition (UHD) video streaming and a self-driving vehicle.

Telefónica España, in collaboration with Optare Solutions, the University of Vigo, Minsait and GCTIO, has developed two use cases for a self-managed 5G network, showcasing
network slicing.

The operator ran the tests on a completely virtualised network for two services with very different needs.

Different use cases

The first case is an Ultra High-Definition (UHD) video streaming service that requires high bandwidth and high reliability – network slicing guarantees transmission speeds and the appropriate network quality for users

The second one is a remotely controlled car for an automated ride service where low latencies and stability are essential. Here network slicing provides a specific, virtualised network layer to ensure low, stable latencies in the connection.

In both use cases, machine learning techniques were used to constantly analyse the quality of the service and the user experience, as well as to prevent possible degradation of the service.

Should service degradation occur, the machine learning acts in real-time to reestablish the required quality by switching to slices with a higher quality of experience or by increasing the virtual network resources associated with the service.

Different roles

Telefónica led this proof of concept for self-managed 5G networks while Optare implemented the use cases and quality functions in the network, With the Optare team, the University of Vigo deployed the resources of the virtualised network.

Minsait, and the University of Vigo worked on the configuration of the virtualised environment.

Mercedes Fernández, Manager of Innovation at Telefónica Spain, said, “Thanks to this project we have made progress in defining…self-managed 5G networks, the objective of which is to guarantee that customers always enjoy an optimal quality of experience when accessing services 5G.

“For this, the network adapts dynamically, automatically and in real time (zero-touch philosophy) to the different capacities demanded by the client, linked to the concept of network slicing.”

A month ago, Telefónica, Cisco and the University of Vigo carried out a pilot test of network slicing 5G to demonstrate how 5G networks support dedicated, specific capacities for different services and clients.

Picture courtesy Telefonica