Automating Network Slicing for 5G Revenue Growth

5G revenue growth may happen faster than expected, and slicing is in the spotlight again. A new study by Juniper Research predicts the 5G services market will grow 60% in 2023, from $195 billion today to $315 billion, thanks to 600 million new subscriptions and the emergence of network slicing as the key to unlocking new private network revenue. 

But 5G network slicing requires automation so that network operators and customers can carve out and configure network segments with attributes tailored to support specific sets of services. 

Achieving the level of automated capability required is highly complex, but Intraway has done it. Our 5G network slicing demo provides a clear picture of what automated 5G network slicing looks like when it is done well.

Slicing means overcoming complexity

Network slicing is not itself a new concept. For example, ethernet networks have utilized forms of slicing for many years. Just like 5G, ethernet network operators use slice provisioning automation to overcome the complexity involved in weaving distinct network layers and domains into a seamless, private network slice. Automation, in turn, helps to push operation costs out of the business, accelerates service delivery, and sets the stage for self-serve slicing and other advanced customer experiences large private network operators want. 

To make slicing efficient and profitable in the standalone 5G environment, operators must similarly overcome complexity with automation, though 5G adds some wrinkles. Manual operations separated by network domains and operations silos will not suffice. The operator needs to automate a careful balance of activation, provisioning, and orchestration so that slices can be:

  • Created, delivered, and sustained on the fly or on demand
  • Configured end-to-end with attributes like latency, security, and redundancy
  • Able to meet stringent service performance requirements without disruption 
  • Able to sustain service levels even when while traversing multiple networks and clouds
  • Adaptable to underlying network conditions to support zero-touch and autonomous networking

A no-code solution speaks for itself

To do 5G slicing right, an operator needs the ability to design and deploy new services on the fly with a drag-and-drop interface, based on a no-code or low-code platform. Whether a slicing solution can provide drag-and-drop design and configuration of this sort speaks directly to the solution heritage and its capabilities and how well it can support goals related to speed, cost, and use of engineering resources.

A solution that requires coding to create network slices reveals that the platform itself is not pre-designed, pre-configured, and pre-proven to deliver ready slicing capabilities an operator can deploy now. The hard work has not been done to componentize slicing functionality and encapsulate its complexity; that burden shifts to the operator’s engineering teams. But if an operator must build its slicing logic piece by piece, it will take too long, be too inefficient and cost too much. Juniper predicts that by 2027, 80% of all operator revenue will derive from 5G services. 

It’s not just about slicing, it’s about getting slicing right

It is functionally possible for an operator to deliver 5G network slices in a classic, bespoke operations setting full of siloes, network domains, custom systems, and layers of custom integration, but it is a much harder, more expensive, and less profitable way to go. 

Eliminating the manual overhead involved in delivering billable slices to customers is crucial to success and to winning market share now in a market that is growing even faster than expected. Operators cannot afford to be left out of the 5G land grab and while migrating and winning consumer subscribers is crucial, the big winners be those who win the 5G slicing market first.

Don’t miss any of our demo videos to watch a few of the digital transformation use cases powered by Symphonica, our no-code, cloud-native orchestration and provisioning SaaS platform.


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