China Unicom will expand the application of 5G network slicing technology to the whole country next year, the company said on Thursday at a press conference in Beijing.
China’s third largest telco already launched 5G standalone network in over 300 cities this year, the company said.
Last month, it applied network slicing technology to its 5G network in Beijing and Guangdong Province.
Network slicing technology allows one physical network to be used like multiple networks virtually. These virtual networks are designated for different tasks for efficiency. For example, networks for video streaming can be made to handle more traffic while those for automobile communication can be made to have low latency.
China Unicom launched its business-to-business 5G SA network in June and those for consumers in September.
5G SA network uses 5G for core networks, unlike 5G non-standalone networks that uses 4G core networks.
South Korean telcos have also announced their 5G SA and network slicing technologies but these are yet to be commercialized.
The carriers are hesitant to commercialize them as their aren’t enough applications for them as of yet, people familiar with the matter said. They are also worried that once they launch 5G SA and network slicing technology, there will be pressure from the government to increase investments into the area.
Last year, SK Telecom had said it plans to launch 5G SA network in the first half of 2020. But the telco has retracted this plan this year and is claiming that 5G SA network is more suitable for business-to-business applications.