Ericsson, Nokia, Google demo multiple network slices on Android 13
URSP support lets one handset juggle enterprise and consumer slices at the same time
In separate announcements, Nokia and Ericsson recently confirmed they had worked with Google to demonstrate support for multiple network slices on a Google Pixel 6 Pro handset, operating Android 13. The demo showed how one handset can support both enterprise and consumer slicing applications through User Equipment Route Selection Policy (URSP) rules.
“New application-based URSP slicing solutions widen operators’ 5G network business opportunities. We are excited to develop and test new standards-based URSP technologies with Android that will ensure that our customers can provide leading-edge enterprise and consumer services using Android devices and Nokia’s 4G/5G networks,” said Ari Kynäslahti, Nokia Mobile Networks’ head of strategy and technology.
Android 12 already supports networking slicing, but the newer operating system’s support for URSP enables up to five enterprise-defined slices to be associated with a work profile. Nokia explained the potential benefits of multiple slice support on a single handset.
“An enterprise customer could send business-sensitive information using a secure and high-performing network slice while participating in a video call using another slice at the same time. Additionally, consumers could receive personalized network slicing services, for example for cloud gaming or high-quality video streaming,” said Nokia.
Ericsson noted there’s a fallback in cases where URSP rules have not been defined.
“Carriers can configure their network so traffic from work profile apps can revert to a pre-configured enterprise APN (Access Point Name) connection – meaning the device will always keep a separate mobile data connection for enterprise-related traffic even if the network does not support URSP delivery,” said Ericsson.
Ericsson said it tested devices in an Interoperability Device Testing (IODT) environment. Nokia said its tests used end-to-end Nokia 4G/5G network slicing products including Radio Access Network (RAN), transport core, and control and management systems.
“The trial included 5G network slice selection and connectivity based on enterprise and consumer application categories as well as 5G NR-LTE slice interworking functionalities,” said Nokia. Nokia has distinguished itself for shipping network slicing over both LTE and 5G networks. It noted that the URSP-based network slicing solution supports slice continuity over 4G and 5G networks.
The network slicing news comes a month after Ericsson and Telefónica announced a successful 5G Standalone (SA) network slicing test with 5TONIC, a Madrid, Spain-based research lab co-founded by Telefónica and IMDEA Networks. The proof-of-concept covered different use cases including 360-degree video production in motion, together with technology start-up YBVR; remote control of an automated guided vehicle (AGV); and gesture recognition with Spanish SME Fivecomm.