Ericsson, Intel and Microsoft slice up a network and feed it to a laptop

Kit vendor Ericsson has teamed up with Intel and Microsoft to demonstrating end-to-end 5G standalone network slicing on a laptop, which they reckon shows the flexibility of the tech.

The interoperability development testing (IoDT) was carried out at the Ericsson Lab in Sweden, and purports to show the use of multiple network slices on ‘cellular-connected laptop devices’ for things such as mobile gaming and collaboration applications.

The trial used User Equipment Route Selection Policy (URSP), which enables devices to automatically select between different slices according to which application they are using. It also used Ericsson’s Dynamic Network Slicing Selection, Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core, and Ericsson’s RAN Slicing capabilities to ‘secure end-user service differentiation.’

The firms claim the significance of all this is that it demonstrates there are opportunities for 5G monetization beyond smartphone devices, and that it ‘opens the door to a wider 5G device ecosystem’ when firms are scratching their heads and attempting to generate profitable use cases for 5G, perhaps in the realms of AI, AR and XR.

“Expanding the range of devices for network slicing to include laptops will allow new business segments to create a variety of use cases for consumer and enterprises,” said Sibel Tombaz, Head of Product Line 5G RAN at Ericsson. We have shown, together with Intel and Microsoft, how ecosystem collaboration can open new possibilities. We will continue to strengthen Ericsson’s network slicing capabilities and work with industry partners to enable more applications on several devices, spreading the benefits of 5G in the consumer and enterprise segments.”

Ian LeGrow, Microsoft Corporate Vice-President of Core OS Innovation added: “We are thrilled to showcase our cutting-edge technology and its ability to deliver fast, dependable and secure 5G connectivity on Windows 11. Partnering with Intel and Ericsson only further solidifies our commitment to innovation and openness in our platform.”

The trial will be demonstrated at Ericsson’s booth at MWC if that’s your thing. There are so many tests and trials going on, and while technically seem to signal a bit of incremental progress each time, it can be easy to lose the context of what is supposed to be offered while digging around in the weeds of experimental telecoms architecture.

That said if trials like this can keep the emphasis on how they provide some extra money-making opportunities for those in the business of flogging 5G, and some genuine benefits for the rest of us, perhaps it will gain some traction when they show it off in Barcelona.


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