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Nokia and Google managed to successfully apply network slicing on a 5G network and Android 13 device. The method allows operators to serve a larger number of devices at higher speeds, without having to invest in new infrastructure.

Network slicing is a method that divides networks into multiple pieces (slices). One slice may allow higher speeds, while the other slice provides less latency. Nokia and Google successfully executed the method with a 5G network and Android 13 device during a recent test.

The partners used UE Route Selection Policy (URSP). The technology allows a device to connect to multiple slices simultaneously. The device can switch to the optimal slice per application.

A smartphone can, for instance, connect to a high-speed slice during a download. If the user joins a conference five minutes later, the smartphone automatically connects to a slice for low latency.

To achieve the same goal without network slicing, an operator would have to configure two separate networks. In turn, the device would have to switch between the networks whenever its application changes. Network slicing is continuous, and therefore preferable.

Breakthrough in network slicing

Nokia and Google’s demonstration is a breakthrough. The organizations never managed to apply network slicing with an Android 13 device before. The test was conducted with a Google Pixel 6 Pro at a Finnish research center run by Nokia.

The method isn’t exclusive to 5G networks. 4G supports network slicing as well. Its applications, however, are limited. Network slicing in 5G networks allows an operator to create a slice for every conceivable workload. Network slicing in 4G networks has fewer options.

Release date unknown

The release date of Google and Nokia’s technology is unclear. The organizations revealed that the solution supports all LTE, standalone 5G and non-standalone 5G devices. We described the difference between standalone 5G and non-standalone 5G in a previous article.

Tip: 5G network slicing draws closer