Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson has launched 5G RAN Slicing, a software solution that enables mobile service providers to divide a 5G network into multiple segments over the same physical infrastructure.

The solution, now commercially available, allows operators to allocate different resources for various enterprise use cases. For example, a mobile services operator could use network slicing to give a connectivity boost to large crowds using mobile data at a sporting event.

Ericsson’s end-to-end 5G RAN Slicing allocates radio resources at 1-millisecond scheduling and supports various service capabilities.

Network slicing is one of the key technical benefits offered by 5G beyond improved speed and reduced latency. Because the same physical infrastructure – such as the radio tower – can provide multiple services it means mobile operators can create new revenue opportunities.

Service providers could dedicate a part of their 5G network to in-car connectivity or for virtual reality, selling access to these dedicated networks within a network to businesses or consumers.

According to mobile industry body the GSMA, the enterprise network slicing market is projected to offer $300bn in revenue opportunities by 2025.

“Ericsson 5G RAN Slicing dynamically optimises radio resources to deliver significantly more spectrum-efficient radio access network slicing,” said Per Narvinger, head of product area networks, Ericsson.

“What makes our solution distinct is that it boosts end-to-end management and orchestration support for fast and efficient service delivery. This gives service providers the differentiation and guaranteed performance needed to monetise 5G investments with diverse use cases.”

Mark Düsener, head of mobile and mass-market communication at Swisscom, said: “We’re gearing up for the next stage of 5G where we expect to apply end-to-end network slicing, and RAN slicing is key to guaranteed performance.

“With efficient sharing of network resources across different slices, we will be able to provide communications for diverse 5G applications such as public safety or mobile private networks.”


Read more: Why network slicing could be a game changer