China Unicom and Huawei have signed a joint innovation agreement to jointly carry out research, demonstration, and application of 5G network slicing.
The two companies plan to develop key technologies and solutions for China Unicom’s 5G network slicing services and applications, jointly promote industry chain development, and apply slices to more vertical industry markets, such as VR/AR games, industrial control, Internet of Vehicles (IoV), and the Internet of Things (IoT).
With agile deployment, security isolation, high reliability, and automatic management, network slicing helps operators expand the vertical industry market in the 5G era and fully exploit the potential of their networks, said Zhang Yong, president of China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute.
“Network slicing is a key native capability of 5G, which can maximize the efficiency of communications networks and reduce network construction and O&M costs,” he said. “In the 5G era, the concepts of slice as a capability and slice as a product have become an industry consensus.”
Zhang said both parties aim to focus efforts on terminals, chips, networks, and vertical industries, accelerate slicing demonstrations and applications, and “jointly build a new 5G slicing ecosystem in 2018 and 2019”.
“As a key anchor for differentiated network experience and operation, the core network [will play] a more important role in the 5G network,” said He Weijie, VP of Huawei’s Cloud Core Network product line. “Huawei’s 5G core network uses the microservice architecture to implement on-demand deployment of 5G slices, agile operation, and SLA assurance.”
Huawei claims that 2018 will be the year of 5G commercial use in several cities in China. Multiple operators outside China are also preparing for pilots before commercial use.