Towards a customer-centric and transformative 5G

An article by Antje Williams, Executive Program Manager 5G at Deutsche Telekom.

Antje Williams, Executive Program Manager 5G at Deutsche Telekom.

Antje Williams, Executive Program Manager 5G at Deutsche Telekom.

Deutsche Telekom and partners launch cross-industry 5G Slicing Association to address potential application scenarios of 5G network slicing on the way to defining new business models between operators and industry verticals.

As we move into the 5G era, we will deploy networks providing much higher speeds, lower latencies, and new levels of reliability and overall network performance and efficiency compared to previous generations. 5G is therefore not just another generation of connectivity: the vision for 5G is to be transformative enabler for the digitalization of industries. 5G must be the most customer centric network that we as an industry have ever designed and deployed.

With the rapid growth in application types, such as virtual and augmented reality, connected automotive and smart manufacturing, it becomes obvious that we cannot fulfill the diverse requirements in an economic way with one network. 5G networks will need to become smarter, more flexible and more tailored to vertical customers’ requirements. My vision of 5G is as for modular toolbox of customer solutions based on network slicing.  As a key innovation in 5G technology, network slicing should provide agile and customizable capabilities that allow the efficient construction of service guaranteed dedicated virtual networks for different applications, all from one physical network.  By adapting the 5G network to different business needs, network slicing has the potential to open up new technological and business opportunities for both the ICT industry and other vertical industries. It is essential therefore that the engagement with verticals must start now from the top down at the application level – not just at the infrastructure level. That way we can define what the differentiators of 5G can do for our vertical customers.

In our Deutsche Telekom 5G:haus, we are actively engaged in the application space with partners such as StromNetz Berlin and City of Dresden on how 5G network slicing can enable the transformation to decentralized energy grid, with Hamburg Port Authority on smart port logistics and with various partners in the automotive space on how 5G can improve the efficiency of connected and automated driving. The insights and learnings from these activities have informed us of a need to establish a common cross-industry perspective and collaboration to drive forward network slicing – and realize the full potential of 5G network slicing for our customers.

This was a driver for the inauguration of the 5G Slicing Association. The association will address requirements from vertical industry and the potential application scenarios of 5G network slicing on the way to defining new business models.  The initiative will study key technical issues, cooperate with slicing related standards development organizations (SDOs) and foster test beds and trials to verify 5G network slicing capabilities.

The founding members are China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Digital Domain, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Huawei, SGCC  CEPRI, Tencent, TIM and Volkswagen AG. The association welcomes more partners who are engaged in the action of digitalization of industries, including the ICT industry, vertical industry and even the broader eco-system and value chain.

For more information about the main activities of the association, you can download and read the ‘Position Paper (pdf, 6.3 MB)’.

Working together as operators and with industry partners, we can build a healthy and energetic 5G industrial ecosystem, and enable the Internet+ vision.

Antje Williams is Executive Program Manager for the 5G Program at Deutsche Telekom since its inception in 2015. In this role, she has been actively engaged in cross-industry industry activities dedicated to ensuring a customer-centric and application-driven 5G. Antje is Chair of the newly inaugurated Slicing Alliance. In her previous role, Antje was responsible for Inflight Connectivity at DT.