We constantly hear about technologies and developments that are “going to be the future.” One of them, and one which you probably heard of, is 5G. Even so, there is more and more speculation about network slicing and how it ties into the 5G networks. But what are the two, and how are they connected?
In short, 5G networks are far faster than the ones we use today. Think gigabytes per second when performing at top speed. That means improved reliability, low latency, and massive network capacity. Adoption of 5G is happening at an awe-inspiring rate. Subscriptions are expected to pass half a billion by the end of the year. We are not talking about a development that will happen because 5G is starting right now.
But What Is Network Slicing?
Statistics show that around 50% of users plan to use AR in the next five years with media types like gaming. This is where 5G will improve the overall gaming user experience on all platforms and more demanding websites that revolve around providing gaming experiences based on HTML5, like Betsafe online casino and many other websites. In particular, this is related to loading times. Many mobile devices and PCs can run without any problem regarding computing power. But when it comes to opening the web pages up like more bandwidth-demanding slot games, this will undoubtedly make a huge difference.
Network slicing primarily interests mobile operators but will significantly affect the final user’s experience. Network slicing allows mobile operators to separate their physical network resources into various logical slices and offer them to the users. Each slice has a distinguished set of requirements to accommodate the needs of different use cases. It means that your virtual network (and 5G experience) is fully customized, which automatically means that it is optimized. You have to remember that not all networks should be the same depending on the use case.
Confused? Don’t be. Just think of all the different use cases and recognize that they have additional network requirements. For example, ultra-reliable Low-Latency Communications (urLLC) require ultra-fast response times for mission-critical applications. Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) takes huge chunks of bandwidth, and massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC) require many concurrent connections. By slicing the physical networks into more virtual ones, these different needs can get better accommodation. In addition, various industries have different needs!
Network Slicing Meets 5G Meets Gaming
Samsung, Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom recently made a 5G end-to-end (E2E) network slicing trial. For what purpose? Gaming! The goal was to demonstrate virtual cloud reality game streaming capabilities with optimized network slicing.
Network slices ran the VR streaming game from two independent E2E. One was a native mobile broadband slice, and the other a cloud VR gaming-optimized slice. The latter got designed to provide higher bandwidth and rock-solid low latency and enable resource isolation. The trial got judged a great success by all the partners. The user experience was excellent, even under congested network conditions. To put it simply, network slicing was the missing ingredient when talking about providing a seamless experience in 5G cloud VR gaming.
Network slicing (along with 5G providing the needed speed) could allow the cash flow to get done in milliseconds. At the same time, the visual experience could get done with a VR since they would be using two different virtual networks, each optimized for the other purpose. So it seems network slicing and 5G make a powerful combo and are not just a tech fad.