Huawei has another go at slicing the 5G euphoria

Huawei has unveiled its latest breakthrough in the world of smart grids, with a bit of 5G network slicing magic.

At the PT Expo China 2017 in Beijing, Huawei successfully demonstrated 5G network slicing application for smart grids, in what it has claimed is a world first. Such an implementation of 5G is designed to restore power to affected areas in 300ms.

The technology itself is based on Huawei’s 5G Core solution Service-Oriented Core (SOC), part of its E2E 5G solution, and demonstrates how 5G network slicing can be customised to individual verticals. According to Huawei’s Wireless X Labs research, constructing a smart distribution network on top of a communications network is key to an efficient, high-quality power grid.

“Using 5G network slicing for smart grid services is a brand-new approach,” the company said in a statement. “Network resources provided by carriers can be converted to mutually isolated network slices, to meet the differentiated network requirements of various services on the smart grid.

“Network slicing can also be used to collect data on electricity usage, for distributed power, for pile control at electric vehicle charging stations, for precise load control, and for other crucial services a smart power grid should offer.”

The challenge here is built on the idea that public networks cannot isolate services well enough to keep services secure and latency low. The introduction of 5G capabilities will allow the division of the telecommunications network into isolated network slices, allowing the power grid to be customized to specific industry needs. It’s actually an example of a practical and sensible use case for 5G, instead of use cases which are a bit cosmetic. Like streaming cat videos faster, for instance.

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