Telcos demonstrate roaming network slices optimised for augmented reality maintenance service.

SK Telecom, Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson on Wednesday announced they have successfully carried out a transcontinental 5G trial.

The three companies were able to demonstrate network slicing – where a single physical network is partitioned into multiple virtual networks, with the parameters of each partition tailored to address individual service requirements – in a roaming environment. It means that a service provided on a single network slice can cross borders and roam onto another operator’s network.

So-called federated network slicing "will enable seamless platform sharing amongst operators at a global scale for continuous and guaranteed user experience," said Alex Jinsung Choi, CTO of SK Telecom.

The companies first announced plans to carry out the transcontinental 5G trial in June 2016.

The demonstration was carried out at SK Telecom’s 5G testbed at Yeongjong-do, Korea, and at Deutsche Telekom’s corporate R&D centre in Bonn, Germany.

"Network slicing is envisaged as a key enabler to support multiple services in the 5G era . Today’s breakthrough shows we can extend that concept to ensure optimised service experiences with global reach for our customers," said Deutsche Telekom CTO Bruno Jacobfeuerborn.

In the demonstration, the companies created a network slice optimised for an industrial maintenance service incorporating augmented reality technology.

In order to recreate a given network slice on a visited network, the operators involved must agree to open up their networks and host partner services. More specifically, components of the 5G core of the home network have to be hosted in the visited network.

"5G is the network for all industries. Network slices in the context of 5G will be like ‘virtual networks on-demand’," said Ulf Ewaldsson, chief strategy and technology officer at Ericsson. "With this world’s first intercontinental 5G trial network, we truly demonstrate the provisioning of network slices to global customers when abroad."