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SK Telecom and Ericsson demonstrated World's First 5G Network Slicing Technology
10/23/2015 | By NETMANIAS (tech@netmanias.com)
 
SK Telecom announced on October 22 that it, jointly with Ericsson, has successfully demonstrated 5G network slicing technology for the first time in the world.

During the demonstration that took place in SK Telecom Corporate R&D Center in Bundang, Korea on October 21st, the two companies succeeded in partitioning a physical network into multiple virtual networks, each optimized for the following most-discussed 5G services, in real time, and operate them individually:
  • Enhanced mobile broadband service that supports large-volume content, with low delay, such as super multi-view, Augmented Reality (AR) / Virtual Reality (VR)
  • ’Massive IoT’-based service, and
  •  Enterprise solutions
The two also successfully eliminated inter-network interference, which is often considered as the biggest problem expected when partitioning a single physical network into multiple virtualized networks. In addition, they could completely isolate data traffic of the networks, ensuring reliable network operation.

'Network slicing' is a key 5G technology that enables operators to slice a single physical core network into multiple, independent virtual networks, allowing for provision of services customized for customers. The new technology has already been recognized as one of the core 5G technologies by global mobile standardization organizations like 3GPP, network operators, research centers, major equipment vendors, etc. around the world, and R&D activities on this technology are actively being conducted today.

'Core network' works as a control tower in a mobile communication network, and is taking care of customer authentication, data transfer, etc. - fundamental jobs needed for mobile communication service provision. Because, in order to access the Internet, a customer must pass through this core network, innovation of the core network is essential for true realization of 5G technologies.
 
SK Telecom noted, with 5G standardization being actively discussed, the successful development and demonstration of 'network slicing' is most likely to receive plenty of attention globally.

Back in January 2014, the two companies executed a Memorandum of Understanding for development of 5G technologies, and have made sincere efforts to discover a way to innovate core network. So, this demonstration was the first fruit of their continuous collaboration for development of innovative 5G base station and network device.  

The two have already built a core network testbed and 5G base station at SK Telecom's Corporate R&D Center in Bundang, and are planning to build an end-to-end 5G system that would cover wired and wireless networks. In addition, they aim to lead 5G technology development by designing and building ‘Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS)', world's first dedicated cloud infrastructure, early next year.  

※ Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS): Dedicated cloud infrastructure that is optimized for virtualized environments, and thus can bring high performance and high quality to systems and services like 5G core network.

Alex Jinsung Choi, Chief Technology Officer at SK Telecom said, "Virtualization-based network slicing is one of the key enabling technologies required to efficiently offer future 5G services". He went on, "We will continue to work on to lead in developing 5G technologies and building related systems."

Ulf Ewaldsson, Ericsson CTO said, “The development of 5G is in a very exciting phase right now with important achievements in research and development. The success with the network slicing technology is critical to enable the network to be an innovation platform for new types of applications and thereby meet the future expectations.”
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