Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson today announced a breakthrough proof of concept implementation of global 5G end-to-end network slicing to facilitate uniform international connectivity for latency-critical enterprise applications with guaranteed Quality of Service. In a world first, this global 5G slicing trial includes SD-WAN and end-to-end service orchestration and, in a very flexible and uniform way, managed connectivity for latency-critical applications in different countries. This approach will be especially beneficial for global enterprises who run latency-critical applications in different international subsidiaries.
End-to-end network slicing is a key enabler for unlocking 5G opportunities, driving business model innovation and new use cases across various industry segments (see for example market research study by Ericsson and Arthur D. Little). 5G slicing will enable use cases that require specific resources and QoS levels. Globally operating enterprise are more and more seeing the need for uniform connectivity characteristics to serve their applications in different markets. Some of the latency-critical business applications that demand consistent international connectivity performance are related to broadcasting, logistics, and automotive telematics.
In this trial, the QoS connectivity was extended from Germany to Poland using a 5G slicing setup that is based on commercial grade Ericsson 5G Standalone (SA) radio and core network infrastructure and a Deutsche Telekom commercial SD-WAN solution. The home operator-controlled User Plane Function (UPF) is placed in Poland as the visited country and the entire setup is managed by an Ericsson orchestrator integrated with a Deutsche Telekom business support system via open TM Forum APIs. Combining 5G slicing and SD-WAN technology allows flexible connectivity establishment and control, while traffic breakout close to the application server in visited countries enables low latency.
Radio resource partitioning (RRP) for enhanced RAN slicing
Making efficient use of the radio spectrum and isolating different users with their Service Level Agreement (SLA)/QoS requirements efficiently is key for differentiated service offerings using end-to-end 5G network slicing technology. In addition to differentiated QoS treatment, the capability of the radio resource partitioning (RRP) feature for RAN slicing was also verified. It achieves an efficient isolation and sharing of radio resources among network slices by isolating the radio resources into partitions that can be associated per network slice in a dynamic way. Each network slice can rely on the availability of a certain minimum allocation of radio resources, while unused capacity is dynamically made available to other network slices, thus maximizing the overall capacity of the system. For an operator, this enables delivery of high-value services with SLA assurance, while at the same time using valuable spectrum efficiently.
This trial enhances 5G network slicing with SD-WAN in an international setup with a central, common orchestration enabling:
- Flexible and automated connectivity establishment and control
- Low latencies with QoS due to traffic breakout of a QoS secured slice in a visited country
- Use of shared RAN infrastructure and QoS assured RAN partitions
- Uniform service characteristics across geographies for global enterprise needs offered by a central operator in cooperation with international partner operators
Alex Choi, SVP Technology Strategy & Innovation, Deutsche Telekom, says: “Network slicing is a key 5G enabler to deliver tailored connectivity services to enterprise customers. By flexibly combining 5G slicing with SD-WAN in an international setup, we can address the emerging need among enterprises for uniform global connectivity with guaranteed quality of service.”
Erik Ekudden, Senior Vice President, CTO and Head of Group Function Technology, Ericsson says: “Combining different technologies in an intelligent and flexible way across borders to address the emerging needs of globally operating enterprises is another proof point of the promise that a global 5G ecosystem can offer.”