T-Mobile opens up network slicing beta nationwide

LAS VEGAS — One of the most anticipated features of 5G – for years – has been network slicing, and T-Mobile on Tuesday used the MWC Las Vegas stage to announce its network slicing capabilities are available to developers nationwide.

T-Mobile John Saw
T-Mobile CTO John Saw boasted that T-Mobile is still the only one with a nationwide U.S. 5G Standalone (SA) network. (Monica Alleven/Fierce Wireless)

T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer John Saw boasted that T-Mobile is still the only one with a nationwide U.S. 5G Standalone (SA) network, which enables network slicing at scale. It took a while – T-Mobile announced its nationwide 5G SA network in 2020 – but it’s now talking about actually putting that feature to use.

The nationwide beta availability comes a few weeks after T-Mobile launched a network slicing beta for developers to use on video calling applications. Since then, it’s seen a who’s who of video industry players signing up to test video calling applications, according to Saw.

“No other provider is doing this now on a nationwide basis,” he said, noting that developers across the country can sign up for the DevEdge program to test network slicing for video calling applications. “Now we’re also bringing the benefits of network slicing to our enterprise customers.”

In a press release, T-Mobile said the network slicing beta is available for Android and iOS developers nationwide. Any video calling app developer – whether a large corporation or small startup – can sign up for the beta through DevEdge, and those in the greater Seattle area can join T-Mobile engineers at the 5G Hub to test and validate the capability on their applications.

T-Mobile plans to expand the network slicing beta to additional application types and use cases in the future.

Blazing a trail

There have been a lot of questions about 5G and whether it will live up to the hype. “Everyone is looking for a silver bullet when it comes to 5G use cases,” Saw said. “At T-Mobile, 5G has taken us a long way, but we have only just begun. With the country’s only nationwide 5G standalone network, we are very excited about rolling out new capabilities like network slicing… We’re blazing a trail,” now offering network slicing to developers nationwide as well as enhanced security.

Saw also talked about the introduction of T-Mobile Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), with new capabilities for businesses and government organizations – T-SIMsecure and T-Mobile Security Slice.

The T-Mobile SASE is a network management platform designed to help customers securely connect employees, systems and endpoints to remote networks, corporate applications and resources. It’s billed as the first SIM-based SASE solution, as well as the nation’s first solution to offer customers a secure network slice dedicated to SASE traffic.  

A bunch of new security offerings, including T-SIMsecure, SASE device client, Private Access, Secure Internet Access and T-Mobile Security Slice, will be available for business and organizations by the end of the year, according to T-Mobile.