Ericsson and Telefonica trialled on-demand network slicing for 5G which they stated would boost consumer experience by providing access to time-limited premium services, in turn opening a fresh revenue opportunity for operators.

The tests were conducted in a laboratory in Spain operated by 5Tonic, a research set-up initiated by Telefonica in conjunction with IMDEA Networks Institute to combine the efforts of industry and academia.

Ericsson explained network slicing enables customers to boost the service on their devices by employing time-restricted subscriptions which are available to purchase on demand, with delivery by Telefonica over a “dedicated slice of the network”.

“The technology involved will empower Telefonica to offer targeted, premium slicing packages to subscribers”, Ericsson stated.

Ericsson explained the approach was defined in the GSMA TS.43 specification in 2023.

Mats Karlsson, head of solution area Business and Operations Support Systems at Ericsson, said slices could be used to access interactive content during a live concert, or to “subscribe to premium experiences during specific events”.

Ericsson revealed its on-demand network slicing effort in mid-2023 and stated the function was made available on Android 14 OS in December 2023.

A Telefonica executive said it was pleased with the level of maturity for on-demand network slicing along with a “large set of device manufacturers” including Google, Samsung and Xiaomi.