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Singtel pioneers world’s first app-based network slicing technology

Singtel, together with its strategic partners Ericsson and Samsung, announced the world’s first live implementation of app-based network slicing. With this technology, app owners will be able to activate a dedicated, customised slice of Singtel’s 5G network to boost the performance of their apps and enhance user experience. Previous network slicing technologies were only able to provide a differentiated network experience to subscribers’ lines, but not selected apps.

The implementation, using an advanced network slicing technology known as User Equipment Route Selection Policy (URSP) with Application Detection Control (ADC), was tested using Singtel’s CAST application during the live streaming of the recent Australian Open. The technology enables the development of a host of use cases and is particularly beneficial to apps which require higher data performance, such as apps for workplace productivity, enterprise communications, gaming and media streaming, as well as artificial intelligence and augmented reality/extended reality. This could potentially allow Singtel to offer apps, including CAST, with boosted performance in the future. URSP runs on Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core solution and channels data traffic through a dedicated, optimal path between smart devices and Singtel’s 5G network. This ensures efficient, reliable and smooth data delivery on users’ mobile devices.

Samsung is one of the first device manufacturers to have configured URSP for its Galaxy S24 Ultra and plans to extend the roll-out for its other devices. Samsung strives to achieve seamless compatibility between device firmware and software, and will continue collaborating with Singtel to optimise user equipment behaviour for efficient network resource utilisation, and deliver an improved quality of service as well as a more personalised user experience across different network slices.

“Customer experiences are getting more immersive with 5G. With these tailored 5G network slices, we’re unlocking a new pathway for app owners to deliver enhanced user experiences.” Tay Yeow Lian, Managing Director, Networks, Singtel Singapore

Mr Tay Yeow Lian, Managing Director, Networks, Singtel Singapore, said, “Customer experiences are getting more immersive with 5G. With these tailored 5G network slices, we’re unlocking a new pathway for app owners to deliver enhanced user experiences. As data consumption and processing soar with the prevalence of 4K video and artificial intelligence, demands on our telco networks will rise, putting a strain on app performance. We’re proud to be the first in the world to deploy this slicing technology on our 5G network to deliver the best app performance even when there’s high network congestion. The sooner device manufacturers activate this, the sooner app owners can deliver more enriching experiences to their customers.”

Mr Daniel Ode, Head of Ericsson for Singapore, Brunei, Philippines and Head of Global Customer Unit (GCU) Singtel Group in Market Area Southeast Asia, Oceania & India (MOAI), said, “Multiple slices allow devices to have multiple profiles to secure different levels of experience, security, and privacy requirements, based on the needs of the different applications and in alignment with the user profile. With URSP features, consumers can customise their profile to enable better use of 5G RAN Slicing with Quality of Service. Performance based business models will address the full potential of digitalisation by improving the application experience with differentiated connectivity performance, thereby making performance an important differentiator in future networks.”

Mr Dennis Jang, President of Samsung Electronics Singapore, said, “At Samsung, our focus is on advancing connectivity and efficiency by introducing URSP as a priority for the Galaxy S24 Series. It’s not just about technology; it’s about enhancing user empowerment. Whether addressing enterprise needs or meeting consumer preferences, our decisions are geared towards improving user experiences. We carefully prioritize essential applications to ensure reliable network performance. Our mission is straightforward: to offer a user experience that’s seamless, dependable, and responsive.”

Leading advancements in network slicing
Singtel has been leading the testing and deployment of network slicing involving dynamic network resource allocation and user/traffic prioritisation at major events.

In October and November 2022, Singtel boosted its CAST app using Ericsson’s Radio Resource Partitioning 5G RAN Slicing solution and Relative Priority Scheduling during the Grand Prix Season Singapore and the FIFA World Cup Qatar respectively, to provide a premium video streaming experience to CAST subscribers. In August 2023, during Singapore’s National Day Parade, Singtel implemented Priority-Admission Control to ensure that subscribers and prioritised users such as public safety and crowd control officers had guaranteed access to a reserved network connection in the crowd.

At the recent 2024 New Year Eve’s Countdown event, Singtel used network slicing to give its subscribers a guaranteed minimum network speed. This allowed Singtel’s subscribers to share pictures, videos and posts from the event with friends and family in a highly congested network environment.

CT Bureau

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