Vodafone UK has partnered with Ericsson to complete the first 5G standalone (SA) network slicing trial in the UK, providing the low latency and high bandwidth needed for a VR application. Additionally, in Germany Vodafone has announced plans to achieve nationwide coverage of its 5G SA network in Germany by 2025, which uses 700 MHz and 3.5 GHz spectrum, and will be using the ‘5G+’ brand as the service rolls out across the country.
According to a GSMA Intelligence survey, most European operators cite network slicing as a key 5G SA benefit, which could enable them to deliver the high-performance, customised connectivity required for advanced use cases in industries such as gaming, entertainment and healthcare. Germany is one of Europe’s leaders in 5G SA, with Deutsche Telekom, O2 and Vodafone all ramping up network coverage as more compatible devices come to market. That the industry is still conducting network slicing trials indicates there is work to be done to execute on its commercialisation, but those trials are critical to ensure dedicated on-demand slicing solutions can deliver on their promise.