MWC LAS VEGAS 2023: T-Mobile US CTO John Saw had a raft of announcements during his keynote address today (26 September), including a nationwide beta launch of its 5G network slicing technology for developers.

The programme has also expanded to Android developers that want to optimise their video calling applications that are commercially available on Samsung Galaxy S23 devices.

The 5G slicing is enabled by the operator’s standalone (SA) 5G network that T-Mobile launched in 2020.

While US rivals AT&T and Verizon are in various stages of rolling out SA 5G, T-Mobile enjoys an early mover advantage.

The nationwide launch followed on the heels of a limited beta trial for developers that was announced in early August 2023, as well as a live deployment later that month.

“We launched the first ever network slicing beta so developers can leverage a network slice optimised for their video calling applications,” Saw said. “The response has been overwhelming.”

Android and iOS developers across the country can now sign up on T-Mobile’s Dev Edge platform to test video slicing for their video calling applications.

Saw also announced T-Mobile Ventures has launched a second investment fund for mid- and growth-stage companies that are building next generation products and services for consumers and businesses.

“This second fund is meant to bring deeper connections to your world,” Saw said.

He cited mobile, AI and “actionable insights through edge computing” as areas of focus for the new fund.

T-Mob gets SASE
Lastly, Saw unveiled the T-Mobile Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) service, which is a network management and ZTNA (Zero Trust Network Access) platform that securely connects employees, systems and endpoints to remote networks, corporate applications and resources.

T-Mobile claimed it’s the first SIM-based SASE service and the first in the US to offer customers a secure network slice dedicated to SASE traffic.

T-Mobile worked with vendor Versa Networks to create T-SIMsecure, which uses International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) and International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) for clientless authentication.

AvidThink founder and principal Roy Chua told Mobile World Live using the IMSI/IMEI identities to authenticate a device on the SASE network “is convenient for customers and accommodates devices without a footprint for the SASE client”.

Chua stated the seamless transparent protection would be appreciated by customers.

“Plus, it covers IoT devices on T-Mobile’s network with SASE protection,” he said. “All in all, it’s a nice expansion of carrier-offered SASE offerings with a full-featured comprehensive SASE product from Versa that has a smart tie-in to the device and user identity via mobile identity for seamless access.”