Earlier this week, Ericsson announced an end-user application that allows a business user or consumer to dynamically boost mobile connectivity via network slicing. Communications service providers (CSPs) can introduce the application, called Ericsson Dynamic End-user Boost, to users on any device connected to a 4G or 5G network.
According to Martin Zander, head of One Network Solutions at Ericsson, this solution is unique in the market and offers a viable way for CSPs to monetize the new capabilities of 5G. “It’s an app with a boost button, and it uniquely gives the control to the user to change the performance of the network from the device. That change is dynamic, you can do it whenever and wherever,” he said. “It’s a premium, but flexible offering.”
He added that thanks so applications like mobile gaming, even those customers on the most affordable data plans are familiar and comfortable with the concept of micro payments, and therefore, are more likely to pay a small amount for a data boost when needed.
“If you aggregate this behavior [across the entire subscriber base],” it will derive better monetization for [CSPs] in the category of customers that don’t want to pay more [for a premium data plan],” Zander said.
Possible use cases range from a business user that travels for work and needs an extra boost to have a consistent user experience, to first responders taking on critical tasks in challenging or crowded environments, to consumer playing a game or wanting to download a movie before boarding a flight (because they totally forgot to do it while at home).
“We flipped the coin of something that has been possible for years,” said Zander, referring to priority of the network via network slicing, which was available in LTE. “But it has been statically and centrally deployed. Operators have given a fixed priority and they do it as part of a monthly subscription. We said let’s put that power in the hands of the user and dynamically initiate it.”
The network slicing app, Ericsson said, offers secure download and upload speeds, instant latency improvements and lightweight cloud integration. SmarTone, a telecommunications provider in Hong Kong, will be the first CSP in the world to offer the Ericsson Dynamic End-user Boost solution to its customers.
Also earlier this week, Ericsson lent its containerized Standalone 5G core and automated orchestration solution for a trial conducted with Vodafone in which the pair tested the automated creation of a network slice tuned to support virtual reality in a retail environment. According to Vodafone, it took 30 minutes “from placing an order to creation of the network slice to carry live network traffic;” the operator reported the slice “guaranteed” 260 Mbps download speed, 16.5 Mbps upload speed and 12.4 milliseconds of latency.