iOS developers in Seattle and San Francisco are the first to have access to T-Mobile’s 5G network slicing beta, which will focus on video calling. The beta launched today. The beta is expected to expand nationwide and to Android later this year.

Network slicing utilizes standalone (SA) 5G to offer performance characteristics customized to the customer’s use case. In the case of video calling, the network slice will be optimized to provide consistent uplink and downlink speeds, low latency and increased reliability.

“The wireless industry has talked about 5G network slicing for years and at T-Mobile we’ve been putting in the work to bring it to life,” T-Mobile Technology President Ulf Ewaldsson said in a press release. “Thanks to our nationwide 5G SA network, T-Mobile is the only operator in the country capable of unlocking this technology so developers can immediately begin creating applications that can one day provide tangible benefits to wireless users everywhere.”

T-Mobile says that video app developers can sign up for its DevEdge developer platform and those in the Seattle area can join the 5G Hub. Companies already working there include Dialpad Ai, Google, Webex by Cisco, and Zoom Video Communications.

T-Mobile isn’t the only provider working on 5G network slicing.

In June, Verizon said that it established connections that passed data over multiple network slices in a commercial 5G environment. The trial supported traffic on the carrier’s cloud-native, containerized and virtualized standalone 5G core.

Problems could arise if different carriers implement 5G network slicing in different ways. In December 2020, the MEF said that it was working on a 5G network slicing standard. The goal is to provide service definitions that are consistent between service providers.

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