SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom demonstrate 5G roaming via network slicing

Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom and Ericsson report that they have jointly built and demonstrated “the world`s first intercontinental 5G trial network”.

Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom network slices are now available in the other operator`s footprint, they said.

The successful demo took place at Deutsche Telekom’s R&D center in Bonn, Germany and SK Telecom’s at Yeongjongdo. The demo featured an industrial maintenance use case involving a repair worker communicating via augmented reality with support colleagues in a ‘visited network’.

Network slicing

In 5G, network slicing will allow operators to configure an end-to-end network that provides the desired overall functionality and service parameters. Federated network slicing for 5G roaming extends this concept to a visited network. This technology will make it possible for an operator to provide a network service globally, making sure that the customer does not need individual agreements with different operators for a global service experience.

 “Our customers are demanding global connectivity with a unified service experience,” says Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CTO Deutsche Telekom. “Network slicing is envisaged as a key enabler to support multiple services in the 5G era. Today`s breakthrough shows we can extend that concept to ensure optimized service experiences with global reach for our customers.”

“5G is not just a faster network. 5G will provide an extreme user experience anywhere and anytime, even when the user roams across different operators globally,” says Alex Jinsung Choi, CTO SK Telecom. “Federated network slicing will enable seamless platform sharing among operators at a global scale for continuous and guaranteed user experience.”

Virtual networks on-demand

Ulf Ewaldsson, Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer at Ericsson, comments, “5G is the network for all industries. Network slices in the context of 5G will be like ‘virtual networks on-demand’. With this world`s first intercontinental 5G trial network, we truly demonstrate the provisioning of network slices to global customers when abroad.”

Operators will need to open up their network to host partners, the companies said in a statement, saying agreements are required to enable the recreation of a given network slice in other networks.

These agreements, they said, should cover aspects such as: network slice availability at the access layer (cellular, fixed), availability in the core network and the connection to customer application servers.

Getting ‘5G ready’

In the video below, filmed earlier this year, TM Forum’s Acting CEO, Nik Willetts, shares his views on the opportunities and challenges facing communications service providers when it comes to capitalizing on 5G.

He says there is a need for holistic transformation, commenting, “5G monetization demands business transformation, not just new technology, to capitalize on the opportunities. Only delivering on the technology as we have done traditionally will mean that we miss many of the true growth opportunities that 5G represents.”

What is needed to make 5G a reality?

A key theme at this year’s TM Forum Live! (in Nice in May), will be: What is needed to make 5G a reality? Check out the agendas for Agile IT & Operations and BSS/OSS of the Future.

For example, Youngkung Kim, Director,SK Telecom, will deliver a presentation on Next Generation OSS – Towards 5G.


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Sarah is a freelance writer and editor with an interest in new technologies and how they impact our everyday lives.

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