Top executives at Ericsson UK and Ireland set their sights on the future of enterprises enabled by standalone (SA) 5G during an event which relived some of the company’s demonstrations at MWC23 Barcelona.
At a demo day at the company’s UK headquarters yesterday (7 June), Ericsson displayed a mix of next-generation use cases and portfolios including network API monetisation, private industrial 5G and, notably AR sports gaming.
“The potential for standalone 5G is humungous, and we are just scratching the surface right now”, VP and head of digital services Blessing Makumbe told Mobile World Live.
He identified the gaming industry as a segment ripe for 5G network slicing deployments due to the performance the content requires, branding the sector as an early commercial use case.
Ericsson defines slicing as employing multiple logical networks to “serve a defined business purpose” by providing all necessary resources and configurations.
In 2022, Ericsson and Vodafone UK conducted what they claimed was the first trial of SA 5G network slicing in the nation.
Ericsson has also partnered with BT and the BBC to launch an immersive 5G AR experience.
Meanwhile, Ericsson UK and Ireland CEO Katherine Ainley pointed to a partnership with Vodafone and ITN to broadcast the coronation of the nation’s King Charles III using a dedicated slice of the operator’s public SA 5G network earlier this year.
Ericsson claimed this marked the first time network slicing was used for a broadcast in the UK.
Ainley believes SA 5G will benefit certain industry verticals and “completely transform many parts of society”, as the technology guarantees broader coverage and response times.
The CEO also highlighted potential deployments in public sectors such as healthcare, education and transportation. The technology “will grow and grow over the course of this year,” Ainley said, since “we have gone over that 50 per cent tipping point on 5G” (referring to the UK’s 5G network coverage which has nearly reached 60 per cent of the country’s population).
Additionally, Makumbe and Ainley outlined 5G potential for rural communities, citing cost benefits compared with fibre broadband, citing drones and robotics as examples.
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