Telefónica and Meliá Hotels International have developed and implemented a 5G pilot at the Hotel Meliá Madrid Serrano to show the possibilities of network slicing technology in the hotel sector.
With this project, which makes the Hotel Meliá Madrid Serrano the first in Spain with 5G NSA, 5G SA and network slicing, several 5G virtual mobile networks (slices) have been configured to guarantee the service to different connectivity needs, such as simultaneous translation or video streaming services.
The initiative is part of the projects promoted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation through Red.es, co-financed with FEDER funds.
The project has the collaboration of Ericsson, whose network slicing technology based on commercial functionalities has been implemented over the 5G SA coverage deployed in the Hotel by Ericsson, using the innovative solution of high-performance Radio Dot System, MIMO 4×4, modular and elegant design that adapts to any indoor environment; Intel, as provider of the translation computing servers in Telefónica’s edge computing, and Lingmo International, as developer of the translation software.
This use case will be presented in one of the keynotes that will take place in the Ágora at the Telefónica booth at Mobile World Congress 2023, including a live demonstration of the network slicing technology. The session will be held on February 28 at 10 am and can be followed in person at the booth or live via streaming.
Specifically, the project has provided the establishment with specific 5G NSA and SA coverage in different areas of the hotel where several networks have been configured by means of 5G network slicing and, in this way, respond to different connectivity needs.
Network slicing is a technology that will allow defining customized, dedicated and configurable networks, by segmenting the network into several slices/partitions or units with different network capacities that allow guaranteeing critical services on each of them.
For example, a slice can be configured to have both bandwidth guarantee and ultra-low latency capabilities. With this, the hotel can have different units that ensure different services such as video surveillance cameras, communications services for hotel employees, 5G broadcasting of streaming video at conferences or to ensure connectivity in events with high user congestion.
In addition, in collaboration with Meliá Hotels International, it has been possible to implement the network slicing use case on a commercial network, making it a pioneering experience in Europe on commercial 5G SA networks. To guarantee the best connectivity during congresses in the hotel, several slices/partitions or sub-networks have been created to guarantee the service and allocate resources to each of them to dynamically adjust to the demand of the users of the different slices.
As for simultaneous translation, it relies on the low latency of 5G and the capabilities of edge computing to process at high speed the conversations and messages to translate as it is enabled very close to where these data are emitted. This service allows translation into more than 80 written and 28 spoken languages, and makes it easier for two people without a common language to understand each other by having the device translate the words emitted by each of them in real time, in addition to having a text version sent to the cell phone to facilitate understanding.
Leonor Ostos, Innovation Manager at Telefónica Spain, said: “With these projects we are making the latest advances in 5G available to real customers with the aim of evaluating the possibilities offered by new technologies, as well as implementing pilots that contribute to building the necessary ecosystem for 5G to consolidate”.
Christian Palomino, IT Vicepresident Meliá Hotels International, explains: “At Meliá we always want to be one step ahead in innovation and exceed our customers’ expectations, providing the latest technologies on the market. Therefore, we are clear that the 5G network and new solutions such as network slicing open a new window of possibilities to ensure the best possible connectivity to our customers, in a secure and reliable environment, and meeting all their specific needs”.