Singapore telecom operator Singtel and Nokia have agreed to collaborate to develop and trial 5G network slicing capabilities, based on a Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) approach, the Asian telco said in a release.

Network slicing is a key 5G feature where multiple virtual networks can be created atop one physical network.

The NaaS platform, enabled by Nokia’s next-generation operations suite and cloud management products which automate the creation and delivery of digital services, will give Singtel greater control and visibility of services across the network while addressing specific 5G needs of enterprises, the telco added.

For example, Singtel will be able to offer an enterprise customer a secured network slice on demand, in a matter of minutes, with assured security and network performance in latency, bandwidth and availability. Currently, such a network service would take weeks or months to implement.

“Network slicing will open up a realm of exciting possibilities for our enterprise customers to go to market quicker with new and innovative 5G-powered services, such as virtual reality, IoT and smart factory applications,” said Mark Chong, CTO at Singtel.

The 5G network slicing trials will be conducted and tested with organizations later this year in Singapore.

In related news, Deutsche Telekom recently confirmed it has accomplished what it claims to be the the world’s first end-to-end data transmission in two network slices on a multi-vendor platform.

This trial required the collaboration of Ericsson, Nokia on the network side and Qualcomm Technologies on the terminal side.

This platform integrates Standalone 5G New Radio from Ericsson and a 5G Core from Nokia on a 5G SA (standalone) architecture.

“Full 5G network slicing promises to bring a whole new level of service experience for our enterprise customers. Customers should be able to provision slices for a variety of use cases with different service level needs and performance requirements,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Strategy & Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom. “We are excited to achieve this technical validation of end-to-end multi-vendor slicing with our innovation partners. As a next phase, we will focus on realizing the full automation of slices as a key step to unlock the true value of 5G for enterprise customers.”

The data calls were transmitted using a 5G smartphone form factor test device,  powered by a Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System which enables data transmission over two network slices. The set-up includes an integrated 5G NR Standalone (SA) RAN from Ericsson and the 5G Core (5GC) from Nokia. Both, RAN and Core, were deployed at Deutsche Telekom’s infrastructure in Germany.

Arun Bansal, President and Head of Ericsson Europe & Latin America, said: “Delivering the full potential of end-to-end network slicing requires deploying both 5G Standalone (SA) New Radio and 5G Core. Full automation is key to future network slicing architecture.”

“5G Network Slicing will allow operators to deliver a wide variety of applications, reduce time-to-market through simplified service creation and deployment, and reduce operational effort and expenditure – but it requires a strong foundation,” said Jan van Tetering, SVP Europe at Nokia.


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