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China Mobile, Tencent, and Huawei jointly announced the completion of the verification of 5G network slices which designed for enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) services requiring stable network latency in augmented reality (AR) games during the Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018.

In Phase 1 of the 5G slicing verification project, terminals, networks, and AR game platforms are connected. The test verified the effects of data rate acceleration with slicing at the terminal side, and with slicing at both the terminal and network sides. The slice management function was also examined. The verification on network slicing usability represents a significant step in promoting the application of 5G network slicing.

Current mainstream AR games allow for positioning based on real-time maps, incorporate diverse AR scenarios, and converge game and real-world settings to offer users an optimal, fully immersive experience. E2E Quality of Service (QoS) assurance is indispensable since network latency and data rate play decisive roles in delivering smooth, uninterrupted gaming experience.

Network slicing is a crucial enabling technology for 5G services, while producing an innovative model for “slicing as a service”. 5G networks will feature service-guaranteed E2E network solutions to fulfill demands from a myriad of diverse vertical industries. Isolated network slices on the same set of physical network are capable of carrying services from a broad range of different industries.

The slice management module's functions include managing terminals, access networks, core networks, and bearer networks for E2E QoS assurance and inter-service domain coordination. Flexible policies are used for scheduling resources of eMBB network slices and mobile phone slices. The aim is to maintain low latency and high data rate for undisturbed AR gaming.

China Mobile, Tencent, and Huawei have started Phase 2 of the 5G slicing verification. A new round of tests is scheduled for completion by the end of 2018. The project will focus 5G core networks' movement towards users, and the sensing of access network and bearer network slices. Slice management will also be closely examined. This includes research into slice template design, coordinated orchestration across terminal slices, core network slices, bearer network slices, and mobile edge computing (MEC). On-demand, flexible deployment of third-party applications on MEC will also be explored. These combined efforts will help promote the verification of 5G slices' features and accelerate the application of 5G slicing.

The industry is currently engaged in large-scale 5G field verification in anticipation for the upcoming arrival of commercial 5G. Meanwhile, 3GPP has successfully completed the formation of a set of 5G E2E network slicing standards. Network slicing is destined to accelerate the deep convergence of the communications industry and other fields. Such technologies will generate a new series of business models, and expedite the digital transformation of all industries.

The communications industry depends upon slicing to meet diversified requirements of industry customers. Only by introducing such innovations can the industry continuously explore the 5G E2E industry chain, and gain social and economic benefits to create an open and sound ecosystem.