Connecting construction sites months sooner with 5G Standalone enabled Network Slicing
Early last year we began trialing with customers on our commercial network a new 5G Standalonetechnology, known as network slicing. This 5G Standalone technology feature allows us to carve up our world-leading mobile network into separate, secure slices that can be finely tuned to suit the needs of many customers and customer applications.
These slices can be tailored to provide an assured network experience with attributes such as minimum committed up and down speeds, lower latency for faster responsiveness of applications, critical application prioritisation or even network resource separation for greater security and reliability.
Using this new set of capabilities allows Telstra to create solutions to meet the needs of our business partners and industries, leveraging wireless networks as a primary connectivity solution.
In Barcelona, we demonstrated a 5G Standalone solution we recently rolled out to a construction site in Melbourne with our partners Ericsson – allowing the site to be up and running months sooner than an estimated fibre solution.
How the site was connected
Construction sites need to be up fast – and often in areas of limited or no connectivity. Like any other business, connectivity is crucial for a construction site – as is reliability of that connection.
In this example instance, the service qualified site needed a 20Mbps committed upload link for its CCTV cameras to protect the site. Likewise for its general data connection, the site needed a committed 100Mbps download and 20Mbps upload link.
Before 5G Standalone enabled network slicing, it would be impossible to commit to such a connection with so many variables on a cell network. However, for this site, we were able to reserve slices for the construction site’s devices from our 5G network in the area.
While not only online much quicker than an equivalent fibre solution would have been, the 5G slices are able to cover the site’s entire connectivity needs, including, unified collaboration, security requirements, and general data usage for the dozens of personnel working on site.
Rolling out 5G Standalone
While solutions like that construction site are exciting, they’re only touching the surface of what 5G Standalone will enable, particularly for our day-to-day internet experience.
5G Standalone isn’t necessarily about any one network metric (like speed or latency) as much as the tailoring of the overall experience through the technology’s increased flexibility in supporting various use cases.
It allows one customer that wants ultra-high bandwidth for their services to access this, and another who needs low latency to access that – while also providing the latest improvements in both security and reliability.
We see huge potential for 5G Standalone to transform the operations of our enterprise customers– especially in industries like mining and agriculture, where a custom-designed slice can function as a hybrid or emulate a private 5G network with assured characteristics such as resilience and bandwidth.
We’re working towards a future where our enterprise partners will be able to plan innovative connectivity and application designs and allow them to work more efficiently and streamline their operations with the confidence that they will get a committed minimum performance from Telstra.