Ericsson and South Korean mobile operator SK Telecom have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to collaborate on the development of a 5G core network that deploys network slicing technology. The two companies will also continue their existing partnership to build a joint 5G test bed.
The network slicing development, which will make use of Ericsson's Regional Cloud Lab and Ericsson HDS 8000, is planned to be ready by the end of 2015. Work on the test bed is starting this year, with the aim of providing end-to-end 5G pilot services.
Network slicing is deemed necessary to meet projected 5G use cases such as remote machinery, intelligent transportation and virtual reality will place new performance and security demands on networks.
The idea is that 5G networks will be built with network slicing technologies which use logical instead of physical resources, and which enable operators to provide networks on an as-a-service basis. The instantiation of the network slicing will use the Ericsson Virtual Evolved Packet Core solution.
The collaboration will leverage the capabilities of Ericsson's Regional Cloud Lab, which is distributed across four sites in North East Asia including Anyang in South Korea, Beijing and Shanghai in China, and Tokyo in Japan.
The network infrastructure will be designed and built on Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System, Ericsson HDS 8000, which was launched at Mobile World Congress in February 2015.
Ericsson claimed that this solution represents a ‘new generation of hyperscale datacentre systems that uses Intel Rack Scale Architecture for a disaggregated hardware approach that dramatically improves efficiency, utilisation, automation and total cost of ownership for virtualised environments’.