BT and Huawei are researching how slices of 5G mobile networks can be allocated to specific services.
When it launches 5G will offer higher network capacity than the current 4G technology it’ll replace, potentially allowing more mobile connections in a given area than is currently possible.
The two firms formed a research partnership last year to explore how the technology can be harnessed to best effect and today announced work was underway to see how slices of network capacity can be reserved for dedicated purposes.
Such network slicing would allow individual services to remain unaffected by bandwidth demands on the network as a whole, for example ensuring any spectrum used for the broadcast of outside live events such as concerts or sports events was unaffected by audiences streaming videos via their phones.
Slices of 5G could also be ‘spun up’ to meet emerging needs – for example to allow emergency services to reliably control a drone and gain an aerial view of an incident.
Howard Watson, CEO of Technology, Service & Operations at BT said: “Customers are increasingly demanding converged networks that deliver a mix of flexibility, reliability and optimisation.
“It’s our role to ensure that our fixed and mobile networks deliver the best possible experience for customers regardless of the demands placed on them.
“That’s why we’re excited about the possibilities of this stream of research with Huawei, and the added flexibility network slicing may offer, allowing us to better serve specific customer needs as we move towards a 5G world.”
Yang Chaobin, President of 5G Product Line from Huawei said: “There are two different ways to realize the digitalization of society, the first one is to have dedicated infrastructure for different requirements, the second one is to have a common infrastructure serving different vertical industries, I believe the latter, which uses network slicing, will be critical to effective delivery of services and improved efficiency.
“Huawei is very pleased to be working with BT on investigating how to implement network slicing technologies in the UK.”