T-Mobile launches network slicing beta for video

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US operator T-Mobile has launched a 5G SA network slicing beta for developers initially focused on giving video calling apps a shot in the arm.

The pitch is that developers can create better versions of their video applications through the network slicing beta, and T-Mobile plans to expand it to additional application types and use cases in the future.

This is useful, argues the operator, since data traffic on video calling apps has increased dramatically over the last few years as remote working has taken off in a big way, amongst other factors driving an uptick in video calls and the like. By utilising a customized network slice, developers can trial apps that require consistent uplink and downlink speeds, lower latency, and increased reliability, we’re told.

Any video calling app developer can sign up for the beta by visiting the firm’s developer platform DevEdge, or popping in to the 5G Hub in Seattle to play around with it.

“The wireless industry has talked about 5G network slicing for years and at T-Mobile we’ve been putting in the work to bring it to life,” said Ulf Ewaldsson, President of Technology at T-Mobile. “Thanks to our nationwide 5G SA network, T-Mobile is the only operator in the country capable of unlocking this technology so developers can immediately begin creating applications that can one day provide tangible benefits to wireless users everywhere.”

The release also drafted in a couple of T-Mobile partners to eschew the benefits of network slicing:

“With the rise of the hybrid workforce and an increase in complex applications, there has never been a more critical need for 5G,” said Brian Peterson, chief technology officer and co-founder of Dialpad. “T-Mobile’s 5G opens up incredible new possibilities for bringing mobile and AI applications to the next level. It gives us the ability to test new capabilities with features like network slicing and, ultimately, supercharge Dialpad and AI adoption for customers across the country.”

“Advanced 5G networks are more important than ever with work increasingly happening on the go in today’s era of hybrid work,” said Amit Barave, Vice President of Product Management, Webex by Cisco. “We are proud to be working side-by-side with T-Mobile to harness cutting-edge features like network slicing that will deliver innovative solutions to customers that empower hybrid work.”

The beta is available today for iOS developers in Seattle and San Francisco and is expected to expand nationwide and to Android later this year.

Network slicing is increasingly brought up as a key feature of the 5G Standalone rollout as a way of improving the reliability and performance of connectivity in certain situations where there is congestion or mission critical operations are in play. For an overview on where the technology is and where it is going, check out our deep dive on network slicing here.


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