Verizon targets next wave of time-critical 5G apps with L4S

Yanitsa Boyadzhieva
By Yanitsa Boyadzhieva

Feb 8, 2024

  • Verizon is looking to enhance the capabilities of its 5G network by deploying an innovative technology designed for time-critical applications
  • It has partnered with Ericsson to test low-latency, low-loss, scalable throughput (L4S) 
  • The technology has the potential to improve the user experience of services, such as gaming and extended reality
  • The partners believe L4S could reduce latency by up to 50%

Verizon, in partnership with Ericsson, has trialled a 5G technology called low-latency, low-loss, scalable throughput (L4S) that, in theory, can significantly reduce latency and enhance quality-of-service metrics for time-critical, high data rate consumer and enterprise applications.  

The pair have been testing L4S as Verizon explores ways to make better use of its 5G network and enhance its appeal to customers with “more robust solutions”, such as interactive video, remote control of industrial processes, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), the US operator noted in this press release.

The L4S trial was conducted at the vendor’s 5G innovation and co-creation lab in Santa Clara, California, using an extended reality (XR) application, a user headset,  Ericsson’s 5G standalone (SA) core and Verizon’s C-Band spectrum. The partners found that the L4S signalling in the radio access network (RAN) could allow content providers to adjust the rates at which they sent their data packets, “markedly improving the performance of urgent, high-bandwidth applications over Verizon’s 5G network”.

According to Verizon, the trial has shown that latency can be reduced by up to 50%, confirming the capability of L4S to better enable 5G time-critical, high data rate applications, such as real-time video conferencing, vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications, teleoperated driving and drone operations.

“The potential of 5G lies in its ability to facilitate a diverse array of ground-breaking services, particularly in time-critical communications for both consumers and businesses,” explained Graham Osborne, VP and head of Customer Unit Verizon at Ericsson North America.

Adam Koeppe, SVP of network and technology planning at Verizon, added that while the first wave of 5G was all about “massive network infrastructure deployments, increased 5G adoption and rapid ecosystem building”, the second phase will be marked by “widespread innovation built on speed, massive capacity, low latency, security and reliability”.

“Just as we worked to evolve 4G after its initial launch into a high-performance network, we are now evolving the radio access network providing 5G technology by introducing advanced technology features that will push the boundaries of what this service can provide to our customers,” noted Koeppe.

Finally, the US telco explained that when introduced into its network, L4S will work in concert with other advanced technologies, such as mobile edge compute (MEC) capabilities, the Verizon Cloud Platform (VCP), a virtualised 5G SA core, virtualised RAN, AI and network slicing.

L4S was originally pioneered by Nokia Bell Labs, the R&D operation of Ericsson’s main rival, Nokia. In November 2023, the Finnish vendor claimed to have initiated the first ever proof of concept of the solution, with XR software developer Hololight.

- Yanitsa Boyadzhieva, Deputy Editor, TelecomTV

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