Cradlepoint Network Slicing PoC Highlights 5G Innovations for Enterprise

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Cradlepoint, a global enabler in cloud-delivered 4G and 5G wireless network edge solutions, presented a proof-of-concept demonstration of enterprise 5G network slicing at its 2021 Global Partner Summit event.

The demo, performed at Ericsson’s Silicon Valley D-15 Labs, illustrates how 5G network slicing can protect business-critical application data from surrounding congestion while ensuring a steady throughput rate. This network slicing proof-of-concept is one of the first integrations of Ericsson technology with Cradlepoint 5G edge routers and highlights the acquisition’s potential to unlock 5G capabilities for enterprises and help accelerate adoption.

Ericsson D-15 Labs

Cradlepoint performed the proof-of-concept at the Ericsson D-15 Labs, a state-of-the-art innovation centre located in the heart of Silicon Valley. Inspired by Ericsson’s first workshop on Drottninggatan 15 in Stockholm, D-15 allows customers and partners to collaborate with a dynamic ecosystem of experts and an ultra-low latency 5G-powered platform.

Enterprise 5G Network Slicing Proof-of-Concept

The lab testbed consists of a Cradlepoint R1900 5G Mobile Router, running in Standalone (SA) mode, connecting to an Ericsson 5G Core and 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) with network slicing and Slice-Aware Quality of Service (QoS) configured. Several PCs running traffic-generator software emulate business-critical and best-effort data across a 5G connection while a mobile device injects congestion into the network. The demonstration shows the best-effort flows slowing to a crawl as the RAN and 5G connection becomes congested. In contrast, the business-critical data is protected and maintains a steady throughput rate.

“Demonstrating Ericsson network slicing technology working with a Cradlepoint 5G router to protect business-critical flows is incredibly important to accelerating enterprise adoption of 5G,” said Marc Bresniker, vice president of product management at Cradlepoint. “With Ericsson, we’re taking the first step in enabling this technology and bringing MPLS-like traffic management capabilities to 5G that enterprises will require as they cut-the-cord and shift more applications to Wireless WANs.”

Why Network Slicing is Essential to Enterprise 5G Adoption

As enterprises embrace Wireless WAN and 5G as essential infrastructure for connecting fixed sites, field forces, vehicles, and IoT devices, they need to support a mix of business-critical, lower-priority, and best-effort traffic over 5G. Additionally, they need to ensure that their critical applications are not affected by “noise neighbor” traffic on a shared 5G RAN. Ericsson’s network-slicing technology, interoperating with Cradlepoint 5G routers, addresses both challenges and can ensure that business-critical application throughput is protected.

“We first started to develop network slicing technology with enterprise frontrunner partners here in D-15 a few years ago,” said Jan Söderström, head of Ericsson’s Silicon Valley technology office. “Our goal was to present this innovation to the industry and share a glimpse of the future. It was radical but something which we did for the industry. Today I’m thrilled that – together with Cradlepoint – we have demonstrated how to protect business-critical enterprise application flows in the 5G mobile network with network slicing.”

What to Expect Next

Cradlepoint is working with Ericsson to deliver integrated enterprise 5G network slicing functionality by the end of 2021. Additionally, as a prerequisite, communication service providers need to roll out 5G standalone (SA) mode, which is underway on various mobile networks around the world.