Network Slicing: what’s in it

5G will mean a revolution, a transformation process that will allow operators to perform “magic” with their networks and services. The reason why operators want to “slice” their networks is based on their capacity to develop new business. These slices of network will allow operators to meet the specific needs of each vertical and within each vertical of each company. Based on their business model, operators will have more or less “slices” active and created to meet the demands of their customers.

Without Network Slicing the 5G would not be able to offer its true potential as it is a fundamental element that will help all industries develop their own digital revolution (Industry 4.0). Join this webinar to understand the business implications of Network Slicing and the benefits it will bring to operators and to all industries.

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7 Questions & Replies

  1. What are the drawbacks of the 5G ? Who will pay for the antennas?

  2. Connected from Mexico AT&T

  3. Will there be any limitations on the number of slices that there will be? – e.g. technical limitations, complexity constraints

  4. How will be set the priority in slide traffic like Health vs Automotive ?

  5. Any ideas about how operators might price different slices for clients? In the case of your Full Control option, where clients get to dynamically provision their own slices, this could imply a slicing rate card. Is this what you envisage?

  6. Could we say that the network slicing is an enhanced virtual private network? (Michail Katsigiannis, Finland)

  7. Many thanks for all the questions. I try to answer them briefly one by one:
    So far I do not see drawbacks in 5G. In case you want to bring ultra high capacity to hotspots by using mmWave spectrum more antennas need to be deployed in those areas. However by implementing them based on the latest chip technology and by using appropriate backhaul technologies this is not an issue. Usually network operators will deploy the antennas but there will also be private network scenarios where enterprises will deploy networks for example at their campus.

    There is no real limit in the number of slices, it very much depends on how you can manage the complexity in the service and network orchestrator, the radio access, the core and how you can manage the underlying transport topology which is usually very heterogenous. Technologies such as microservices, the Nokia Shared Data Layer and SDN make the complexity managable.

    Priorities between different slices will be set by operators, in line with net neutrality regulations. Of course everything that is directly life endangering needs to get highest priority. E.g. an alarm triggered by heart attack needs to get higher priority than a slice for automated driving since you can slow down cars or ask drivers to take back control. However these resource conflicts should be rare exceptions in a well planned and deployed network.

    Pricing models need to be seen. Among many others the following could work:
    – prices based on slice templates which can be found in a catalog enhanced by individual configuration options. E.g. a standard price an automotive enhanced Mobile Broadband slice which can be enhanced by individual options, e.g. for map download or video streaming.
    – speed based pricing or SLA based pricing, the tougher the more expensive. Such models already exist successfully and could be used for slicing as well

    VPNs are usually made for connecting enteprise sites and employees. Compared to slicing they contain rather basic KPIs, they do not slice the (radio) access and slices are also made form companies to provide new services to their customers.

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