Vodafone UK and Ericsson push network slicing for cloud gaming

A recent live network trial aimed to demonstrate the performance benefits of dedicating a slice of a 5G standalone network to cloud gaming.

The trial, which took place at Coventry University in the UK, used an optimised 5G standalone network slice to deliver a better cloud gaming experience than a regular 5G connection. Specifically the demo run jointly by Vodafone UK and Ericsson claimed a 270% increase in download performance, a 25% decrease in latency and 57% less jitter as a result of using the optimised slice.

“5G Standalone is not an upgrade on 4G, but an entirely new type of technology,” said Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer at Vodafone UK. “Through this trial, we provided a slice of connectivity, customised specifically for gaming, to provide a full fibre like experience over the airwaves. This is the value of network slicing – a more personalised connectivity service to make digital more in-tune with each customer.”

“A mobile network, powered by 5G standalone technology and offering associated services like network slicing, is the ultimate next step in meeting connectivity demands from consumers and businesses,” said Blessing Makumbe, VP & Head of Digital Services at Ericsson UK & Ireland.

“Creating tailored network quality with requirements on speed, latency and reliability not only offers the premium performance needed to satisfy the applications and services of the future, but also gives leading operators like Vodafone the opportunity to offer innovative services to enter new markets and expand their business.”

Ericsson has been promoting network slicing for cloud gaming as a major 5G use-case for some time but neither conspicuous demand nor significant new revenue streams have yet to manifest themselves. Maybe we still need drivers such as new games and/or novel technology such as augmented reality but as things stand it’s hard to get excited about this specific use-case. Dona, as you would expect, is less sceptical, and you can learn more about his perspective on the matter in this exclusive opinion piece.


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