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Using 5G network slicing to gain the winning edge in cloud gaming

11 Nov 2021
Using 5G network slicing to gain the winning edge in cloud gaming

Using 5G network slicing to gain the winning edge in cloud gaming

The aim of the Catalyst project, 5G next-gen performance with cloud gaming, is to demonstrate how communication service providers (CSP) can deliver next-generation performance for gamers using 5G network slicing and edge capabilities through partnerships with hyperscale cloud providers (HCP) and leading vendors.

The Catalyst is being led by Sweden-based Telia Company with Game Cloud Network as an ecosystem partner champion, cloud support from Amazon Web Services (AWS), and BSS and OSS capabilities from Ericsson. Other participants include Aria Networks, AT&T, Epam Systems and Telecom Italia (TIM). While this is the first phase of the Catalyst, there is scope for further development in coming years.

In the game

The participants are using a cloud gaming application from Game Cloud Network to demonstrate the solution, although multiple use cases are possible. The Catalyst uses TMF Open APIs to enable the premium service to be offered directly within the game experience, where the customer is most engaged and can see the benefit immediately.

End-to-end network slicing is a technique with 5G standalone networks that enables new business models and use-cases across all industry verticals, creating new revenue opportunities for communication service providers (CSPs).

Indeed, network slicing will play a crucial role in enabling CSPs to offer innovative services to enter new markets and expand their business. As things stand, CSPs are exploring aspects such as 5G network slicing fulfilment and service assurance, integration of the IT stack with the core network, the radio access network (RAN) and transport.

Every second counts

The solution demonstrated in this catalyst enables CSPs to be part of a larger ecosystem delivering a B2B2X business model where the CSP will provide fit-for-purpose, dedicated virtual networks for enterprises and can create innovative offers based on specific industry needs.

The participants decided to use a cloud gaming application here since gaming is a perfect example of a service that requires a dedicated virtual mobile network and edge capabilities in order to perform well.

Further, the game itself becomes a customer engagement channel providing a simple and effective way for the gamer to subscribe to a premium communications service.

The game runs on a mobile device and, via a carrier abstraction layer, integrates with the CSP to identify potentially upsellable products and submit orders.

Gaming companies themselves need on-demand, low-latency network connections to ensure customers have exceptional experiences playing online games whenever and wherever they want. With 5G network slicing, CSPs can dynamically create a dedicated, low-latency network slice for the gaming company based on user location and performance requirements.

As explained by Vincenzo Procopio, Head of OSS Architecture and Roadmap at Telia Company, the deployment of the application close to the end customer enables lower latency and thus improves reaction and response times of the gamers.

“The main goal to reduce latency to one second or less by defining and configuring a 5G network slice to enable gamers to subscribe to a premium gaming service with a dedicated 5G network slice,” said Procopio. “For gamers, a reduction in latency by a few milliseconds can make the difference between winning and losing.”

Visit the Catalyst space

for more information from the team.