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Nokia and mobile operator Telia are running a live trial in Finland with high-tech global engineering group, Sandvik, to demonstrate how next-generation 5G Edge Slicing functions can operate with different mining equipment and digital applications.

This is the world’s first deployment of 5G Edge Slicing on a live commercial network allowing operators to offer their enterprise customers next-generation, secure, reliable, and high-performing Virtual Private Network (VPN) services over commercial 4G and 5G networks.

“We are delighted to be the first to deploy the first-ever 5G Edge Slicing solution together with Nokia and our important customer Sandvik, who is investing heavily in digital mining technologies and the technology environment in its test mine in Tampere,” Telia Finland chief technology officer Jari Collin said.

“Our advanced 5G network supports our customers’ business by enabling new kinds of services and making the network more efficient.

“We will continue to develop innovations and the latest applications, as our mission is to bring the opportunities of 5G to our customers.”

Nokia will also run a trial with Cellcom using sliced RAN-Transport-Core in Netanya, Israel, which will be focussed on business applications and the customer experience as well as enterprise interconnectivity over a high-speed metro network.

Once launched, both companies will be able to offer new services to their customers – driving new revenue opportunities – as well as partner with cloud application and infrastructure service providers.

Nokia’s 5G Edge Slicing solution is an evolution of Nokia’s previously announced 4G/5G slicing capability.

It enables operators to keep critical business data traffic local while running slice management, control, and assurance on existing central mobile data centres ensuring cost and operational efficiency.

It is also scalable, and the same virtualised network infrastructure can be used by several customers in the same area, for example in a business campus containing multiple companies.

“Network Slicing is the most exciting aspect of 5G, as it raises the possibility of new dimensions of ‘higher performance’, and enhanced ARPU from both consumers and enterprise customers,” Mobile Experts principal analyst Joe Madden said.

“While many providers are focussing on deploying 5G private networks for enterprises, network slicing also opens up new market opportunities for operators with 5G Virtual Private Networks by keeping enterprise traffic local with Edge Slicing using the existing 4G/5G network.”

These live trials follow a Memorandum of Understanding between Nokia and TPG Telecom last month to develop mobile private network innovations for the mining and energy sectors.