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Ericsson are demonstrating the world´s first 5G network slicing solution supporting multiple network slices on the same device with NTT DOCOMO, INC. The solution, was shown at 5G Tokyo Bay Summit 2017 from May 24 to 26, addresses use cases where robots are used for building automation into public and private infrastructure. The solution could also be used for other industries.

The demo application showcasing the solution employs a robot with a head-mounted camera. The high-bandwidth live video stream is transported to a remote datacenter to meet the ample computer resources required. Real-time analysis is performed and mission critical instructions, such as dynamic map delivery is sent to the robot from the command center, based on the video processing input. The video stream and the robotic instruction are sent over two different slices, realizing robotics-based monitoring and security solutions over 5G networks.

Jan Häglund, Head of Technology Management, Digital Systems, Ericsson, says: "Continuing our joint development of an industry ecosystem for 5G and IoT together with NTT DOCOMO, we are applying multiple network slices on the same device to enable different services with different characteristics. This demonstration showcases just one of the seemingly endless possible use cases that are opening up new business opportunities for both operators and industries."

Network slicing is one of the key capabilities that will enable flexibility in future mobile networks, as it allows multiple logical networks to be created on top of a common shared physical infrastructure. Ericsson’s 5G Core takes advantage of Network Function Virtualization (NFV), and by integrating distributed cloud and network slicing functionality, brings new levels of flexibility and optimization that drive business innovation.

Network slicing has significant benefits for a number of industries, such as automotive, manufacturing and transport, by providing different efficiencies in latency and speed depending on service requirements.

NTT DOCOMO is playing a driving role in developing and trialing 5G network technologies in collaboration with leading vendors worldwide. The company has been developing network slicing technology with Ericsson since September 2014. In June 2016 at 5G World in London, the two companies demonstrated a successful Proof of Concept of dynamic 5G network slicing.