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Ericsson, Intel, and Microsoft Form Laptop Network Slicing Power Trio

The News:  Ericsson and Industry partners Intel and Microsoft demonstrated end-to-end 5G standalone (SA) network slicing capabilities on a Windows laptop. The demonstration shows the applicability of the technology on devices beyond smartphones that can pave the way for new business opportunities for cellular-connected laptops. Read the Ericsson Press Release here.

Ericsson, Intel, and Microsoft Form Laptop Network Slicing Power Trio

Analyst Take: Ericsson, Intel, and Microsoft completed a demo showcasing network slicing capabilities on a laptop for consumer and enterprise applications. Using Intel processors and running on Windows 11 (OS), the interoperability development testing (ioDT) at the Ericsson Lab in Sweden showed the use of multiple network slices on cellular-connected laptop devices for consumer and enterprise use cases such as mobile gaming and collaboration applications.

The network slicing trial used User Equipment Route Selection Policy (URSP) – the capability designed to enable devices to automatically select between different slices according to which applications they are using. It also used Ericsson’s Dynamic Network Slicing Selection, Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core, and Ericsson’s RAN Slicing capabilities to secure end-user service differentiation. Together they can deliver the required network capabilities for implementing network slicing solutions.

I see the three-way network slicing demonstration strengthening the ability of communications service providers (CSPs) to target enterprises and consumers with more compelling 5G use cases. Of note, the market for network slicing across the enterprise market segment is projected to reach $300B by 2025 according to the GSMA. While I find fulfilling such a projection by the 2025 threshold optimistic, the ability to deliver network slicing to laptops can help spur CSP investment in accelerating the buildout of the 5G Standalone (SA) capabilities needed to support network slicing.

From my view, the warrant for targeting enterprises with laptop-supported network slicing aligns with the expansion of distributed workforces as work-from-home (WFH) and remote work have become integral to workforce arrays. Through network slicing, CSPs can develop and improve service packages that ensure organization policies and security safeguards are implemented uniformly across workforce laptops regardless of location. In the consumer space, I expect that gaming enthusiasts will show increasing willingness to pay for 5G connections that deliver premium cloud gaming experiences as an alternative to repeatedly buying expensive consoles.

I anticipate that enterprises will also broaden their adoption of secure access service edge (SASE) architectures which in turn can also provide CSPs greater opportunity to provide support services that secure distributed workforces, especially across 5G networks. This includes ensuring enterprises can avoid the limitations of relying primarily on cloud-delivered security by providing unbroken visibility from client to workload as well as protect applications and provide users with consistent and secure access.

For Intel, the demo provides additional validation for 5G laptop makers to rely on Intel 12-generation Intel core processors. Intel also gains additional sales and marketing ammunition for its new 13th Gen mobile processors (codenamed Raptor Lake) which are aimed primarily at transforming the overall laptop experience including thin light laptops, gaming notebooks, as well as Internet of Things (IoT) devices. I expect that Intel’s 13th Gen mobile processors can make further inroads throughout the gaming and creator communities since it’s built for gamers seeking maximum performance across the latest games (i.e., endurance gaming), while simultaneously having the capabilities to support a wide array of other workloads.

I believe the demo can encourage CSPs to prioritize laptop-driven 5G monetization use cases, diversifying revenue streams beyond smartphone devices. Through inclusion of Windows 11 laptops, Microsoft can gain more influence across the 5G ecosystem including making Azure for Operators more attractive for enterprises and CSPs to consider and adopt. Specifically, network slicing capabilities enable defining Service Level Agreements per slice for Windows applications and use cases, such as Microsoft Teams and Office365, AI, game/media streaming, and augmented reality/extended reality (AR/XR) applications.

Key Takeaways: Ericsson, Intel, and Microsoft Play Slice with Laptop Network Slicing Demo

Overall, the laptop network slicing demo gives Ericsson, Intel, and Microsoft critical sales and marketing momentum in the lead up to MWC 2023. Through supporting E2E network slicing on laptops the trio incentivizes CSPs to confidently accelerate their 5G SA network expansion and broaden their 5G monetization ambitions.

Other insights from Futurum Research:

Ericsson Expands Private Networks Offerings with NetCloud Private Networks Add: Can It Help Ease CBRS Adoption?

CES 2023: Intel Unleashes 13th Gen Core Mobile Processors Aimed at Elevating Mobile Platform Experiences

Microsoft Revenue Hits $52.7B for Q2 FY23, Up 2% YoY

Image Credit: AgilityNetworks

Author Information

Ron is an experienced, customer-focused research expert and analyst, with over 20 years of experience in the digital and IT transformation markets, working with businesses to drive consistent revenue and sales growth.

He is a recognized authority at tracking the evolution of and identifying the key disruptive trends within the service enablement ecosystem, including a wide range of topics across software and services, infrastructure, 5G communications, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), analytics, security, cloud computing, revenue management, and regulatory issues.

Prior to his work with The Futurum Group, Ron worked with GlobalData Technology creating syndicated and custom research across a wide variety of technical fields. His work with Current Analysis focused on the broadband and service provider infrastructure markets.

Ron holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from University of Nevada — Las Vegas and a Bachelor of Arts in political science/government from William and Mary.

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