5G Network Slicing: How it Works

Telecommunications providers and mobile operators are gearing up to introduce commercial 5G networks and their widespread adoption worldwide. 5G networks are built to be exceedingly flexible and programmable for end-to-end connections and compute infrastructures.

One of the most vital innovative design aspects of the 5G architecture relies on 5G network slicing. It allows operators to provide portions of their networks for specific client use cases, such as an Internet of Things (IoT) factory, a smart home, an intelligent energy grid, or a connected car.

What is 5G Network Slicing?

5G network slicing uses network virtualization to split single network connections into independent virtual connections. That supplies various resources for different traffic. It enables network operators to have a piece of their network. Providing the specific features that a particular segment of their client base needs.

 How is it going to work?

Each end-to-end network slice has the functionality of a complete network, including unique network layer capabilities, operational settings, and network characteristics. They will have their own resource requirements, such as computation, storage, and networking.

It’s called a network slice instance once they have deployed it. Each slice has at least one instance that controls the behavior of the slice. As a result, enterprise customers may receive one or more of these instances, depending on selected sections.

For instance, in a 5G context, a client connects IoT gadgets on a large scale, whether a logistics firm is tracking goods in a warehouse. Or a utility firm analyzing its electronic devices would use a slice optimized for massive machine-type communications (MMTC).

In contrast, an autonomous vehicle’s application would require a slice optimized for more ultra-reliable low-latency communications (uRLLC).

5G network slicing will enable users to experience customized connections and data processing. It will adhere to the Service Level Agreement (SLA) that the mobile operators have agreed. Customizable network capabilities such as data speed, reliability, quality, latency, security, and services.

According to a report by Ericsson, some of the 5G network slicing use cases may include greater bandwidth for video and higher speeds. It may also include broad-scale availability and extensive machine-type communication monitoring of transportation and control.

Benefits of 5G network slicing

Network slicing provides tremendous benefits to both telecommunication operators and enterprise clients. Here are some benefits:

Customized solutions

Operators can design networks based on end-use cases. Effectively ‘trimming’ unwanted functionality using the savings to introduce new technologies that better fulfill customers’ demands.

For example, an IoT sensor-based application would not require mobility or voice communications functionality. These incur extra expenditures but can benefit from power-saving solutions.

Enable new business concepts

5G network slicing might help to catalyze a new breed of virtual network operators. It may include slice network operators (licenses), who use customized slices to power even more diverse offers.

For example, a car manufacturer may receive one or more slices for future vehicle telemetry (remote measurement of data), entertainment, and even remote control.

Flexibility

5G network slicing will provide solutions that can better satisfy the individual needs of a larger group of customers – whether they are from different industries or locations.  

For example, enterprise customers want specialized network characteristics with higher security features than those on public clouds. They can now choose a network slice rather than an entire private network solution.

Conclusion

Network slicing is critical to the 5G possibilities, and if done right, network slicing has significant potential within the telecommunications ecosystem.

 However, it will enable and demand changes in operators’ business and operating models to support and facilitate the dynamic component of slicing. Allowing network slices to be scaled up, scaled down, and retired as needed.

In this webinar presented by Intraway, Readiness IT and Kloudville, we discussed how to quickly launch initial 5G services for the B2B segment in order to support new business models and operations over 5G. Watch it on-demand here.

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