Virgin Media O2 and Ericsson have partnered to demonstrate the potential of network slicing, with a trial that took place at Comic Con in Birmingham.
The trial saw the augmented reality esport, Hado, run on a dedicated slice on Virgin Media O2’s 5G standalone network, which enabled remote play and live broadcasting.
Competitors taking part in the game at Comic Con were able to compete remotely and in real time against teams located in both the United States and Korea. This was made possible by the network slice that guaranteed the required bandwidth, latency, and jitter.
The dedicated network slice also provided a stable, secure and reliable communications platform that enabled the live broadcast of the games to thousands of viewers worldwide. With the live broadcast requiring a consistent upload speed, the network slice was able to provide this and ensure the best possible experience for viewers.
With more than 8,000 visitors descending on the NEC for the three-day Comic Con event, the network slice secured the necessary and exclusive network capacity for the Hado game. This ensured that even at times of the day when the public network was being used by thousands of users, the network slice ensured Hado had the necessary capacity for remote play and live broadcast.
Remote ReRemote play and live broadcast took place over Virgin Media O2’s 5G standalone network using a Cradlepoint R1900 device that supports 5G SA and network slicing on the 3.5GHz band. Virgin Media O2 configured the network slice end-to-end through the Ericsson-powered radio and core network; and was able to provision Hado’s SIM Cards to be able to access it in a matter of minutes.
Jim Sephton, Managing Director of Hado UK said: “5G standalone and network slicing will be game changers for the gaming industry. The ability to compete with people from all around the world and break down previous geographical limitations will have a real positive impact for Hado and other esports like it. It was particularly impressive that all of this was possible at a location as busy as Comic Con.”
Jorge Ribeiro, Director of Service Platform Strategy & Engineering at Virgin Media O2, said: “We are delighted to have enabled this ground-breaking event using our next generation 5G network. This is further evidence of the impact that network slicing can have on a range of industries.”
“The real benefit of network slicing is the ability to reserve a slice of the network for critical applications or services. In this example, the slice is optimised to provide the best latency possible, but equally it could be for something as critical as the emergency services at a busy event or live TV news broadcasting. The possibilities are endless.”
Blessing Makumbe, VP & Head of Cloud Software & Services, Ericsson UK & Ireland said: “5G standalone and network slicing showcases how advanced mobile networks can offer tailored connectivity with different requirements on speed, latency and reliability. This level of network performance will help meet the growing demands from consumers and businesses for premium connectivity services and enable cutting-edge innovation that will support future market growth for the UK in a wide range of new industries.”