Verizon: Network slicing operational but in trials

  • Verizon is working on public safety network slicing

  • Verizon & T-Mobile are racing to provide commercial network slicing services

  • The operators are still behind China and India's Jio on slicing

Verizon said recently that its 5G network slicing public safety field demonstration in Phoenix, Arizona – which delivered video data for first responders while maintaining other mission critical data – is operational but still in trials. 

“It's operational but we haven’t uploaded customers yet,” Srini Kalapala, SVP of technology and product development at Verizon, told Fierce at Verizon’s 5G demonstration day in Basking Ridge, N.J., on March 21. “This is a trial, we’re learning more,” he said. He noted that the demo used Axon 3 video cameras and wireless routers to deliver the data over 5G.

Verizon appears to be in something of a race with T-Mobile over network slicing. T-Mobile seems to be in the lead at the moment, with a Las Vegas grand prix win in late 2023 that saw 230 concession payment terminals connected over the T-Mobile 5G network to back-end processing systems over a network slice.

Verizon currently seems to be more focused on public safety applications over network slices at the moment. Claims made last year that some customer traffic would be running on network slices by the end of 2023 don’t seem to have panned out.

It makes sense that both operators would be interested in network slicing since both providers operate a cloud native 5G standalone network with a 5G core. Surely both will actually run more commercial network slicing services in 2024!

Nonetheless, neither U.S. operator can hold a candle to Chinese and certain Indian operators when it comes to commercial network slicing. Reliance Jio told us recently that it had launched network slices for fixed wireless access, high security applications and gaming this year.