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BT and Huawei announce research into 5G network slicing

Press Release   •   Feb 22, 2017 09:30 GMT

BT and Huawei today announced new research into how ‘network slicing’ – a method of carving out specific ‘slices’ of an IP-based network for dedicated purposes – may be used to support services delivered over tomorrow’s 5G networks.

Today’s announcement builds on the wide-ranging 5G collaboration agreement signed by the two companies in December, and marks the first area of specific research activity for the team, based at the BT Labs in Adastral Park near Ipswich, and in other locations across the UK.

Network slicing allows specific ‘slices’ within an IP-based network to be ring-fenced for particular activities. This allows individual services to remain unaffected by bandwidth demands on the network as a whole, and to have specific policies applied to the traffic being carried over that slice – especially relevant when those services are mission-critical.

For example, in a live music event, specific 5G slices could be created for outside broadcast use, ensuring that the live TV feed from the event remains unaffected, even as thousands of people in the concert start to stream videos to friends and family over the network.

New 5G slices can also be ‘spun up’ in an agile way according to customer needs. In the above scenario, in the event of an emergency in the crowd, a new slice could be created which is dedicated to the safety control teams, allowing them to command a drone, and gain an aerial view of the incident.

Howard Watson, CEO of Technology, Service & Operations at BT said: “Customers are increasingly demanding converged networks that deliver a mix of flexibility, reliability and optimisation. It’s our role to ensure that our fixed and mobile networks deliver the best possible experience for customers regardless of the demands placed on them.

That’s why we’re excited about the possibilities of this stream of research with Huawei, and the added flexibility network slicing may offer, allowing us to better serve specific customer needs as we move towards a 5G world.”

Yang Chaobin, President of 5G Product Line from Huawei said: “There are two different ways to realize the digitalization of society, the first one is to have dedicated infrastructure for different requirements, the second one is to have a common infrastructure serving different vertical industries, I believe the latter, which uses network slicing, will be critical to effective delivery of services and improved efficiency. Huawei is very pleased to be working with BT on investigating how to implement network slicing technologies in the UK.”

BT and Huawei’s research in this area will be showcased at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, on the Huawei stand. To view an animated demonstration of 5G network slicing in action, please go to: http://www.btplc.com/Innovation/Innovationnews/5Gnetwork/index.htm

MWC 2017 will be held between February 24 and March 2 in Barcelona, Spain. Huawei will showcase products and solutions at booth 1J50 in Fira Gran Via Hall 1, booth 3130 in Hall 3, and the Innovation City zone in Hall 4. For more information, please visit http://www.huawei.com/en/events/mwc/2017/.

Ends

About Huawei

Huawei is a leading global ICT solutions provider. As a responsible and robust business player, innovative information society enabler, and cooperative industry contributor, Huawei is committed to building a Better Connected World. Through our dedication to customer-centric innovation and strong partnerships, we have established end-to-end capabilities and strengths across carrier, enterprise, consumer, and cloud computing domains. Huawei's 170,000 employees worldwide create maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers. Our innovative ICT solutions, products and services have been deployed in over 170 countries and regions, serving more than one-third of the world's population. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company that is fully owned by its employees. For more information, please visit Huawei online at www.huawei.com.

Huawei Carrier BG is committed to a pipe strategy, focused on delivering ICT infrastructure and opening up ICT capabilities. Huawei provides global carriers with cutting-edge, end-to-end ICT solutions that help them develop their digital business and create all cloud networks. By supporting carriers in their digital transformation, Huawei is proud to be aperfect strategic partner of carriers. Huawei Carrier BG offers a complete range of products and solutions for fixed networks, wireless networks, cloud core networks, software, IT architecture, network energy, and network services. It helps carriers deliver a ROADS (real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social) experience to telecom users. In the spirit of openness, collaboration and shared success, Huawei Carrier BG hopes to work with carriers and industry partners to constructhealthy ecosystems and build open ROADS to a Better Connected World.

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com