Ericsson and Nokia hailed separate trials of 4G/5G network slicing with Google as a further step towards enabling the provision of various consumer and enterprise applications on Android smartphones.

For the trials, the vendors used Pixel 6 (Pro) smartphones running the Android 13 operating system and new user equipment route selection policy (URSP) technology. Finland-based Nokia indicated that the latter feature allows an Android device to connect to multiple network slices simultaneously via different applications depending on a subscriber’s specific requirements.

Nokia Mobile Networks head of technology and strategy Ari Kynäslahti noted that application-based URSP slicing ensures mobile operators “can provide leading-edge enterprise and consumer services using Android devices and Nokia’s 4G/5G networks”.

Nokia explained that URSP capabilities extend network slicing to new types of applications and use cases, allowing network slices to be tailored based on network performance, traffic routing, latency, and security.

For example, an enterprise customer could send business-sensitive information using a secure and high-performing network slice while participating in a video call using another slice at the same time.

Ericsson head of solution area packet core Monica Zethzon noted that the “ability to provide for a wide and varied selection of use cases is of crucial importance” to beef up returns on investments in 5G networks.

“By confirming that the new network slicing capabilities offered by Android 13 will work fully with Ericsson network technology, we are marking a significant step forward in helping the full mobile ecosystem realise the true value of 5G”, Zethzon claimed.

Network slicing trials proliferate
Vendors and operators are stepping up trials of 5G network slicing as they explore how the technology can be deployed and generate revenue in future.

For example, Ericsson recently completed 5G network slicing tests using an Oppo handset powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset running on a customised version of Android 12.

A1 Telekom Austria Group also indicated it would apply lessons from a trial with software provider Amdocs for future 5G services for consumer and enterprise customers.

Earlier this year, Vodafone UK teamed with Ericsson to complete what the pair claimed was the first standalone (SA) 5G network slicing trial in the country.