5G Network Slicing Tutorial:
While there is no ITU-T recommendation to implement 5G network slicing, 3GPP Network Slicing requirements are included in 3GPP TS 22.261, Service requirements for the 5G system Stage 1, for Release 15 and updated for Release 16. As defined by 3GPP, Network slicing allows the 5G network operator to provide customized networks with different QoS capabilities.
A Network Slice is a logical (virtual) network customized to serve a defined business purpose or customer, consisting of an end-to-end composition of all the varied network resources required to satisfy the specific performance and economic needs of that particular service class or customer application. The ideas in play in developing and progressing the ‘slice’ concept draw on a progression of similar but simpler parallels in preceding network architectures including IP/Ethernet networking services (VLANs, IP VPNs, VPLS, etc.), and broaden the scope to include a wide range of access and core network functions from end-to-end and from the top to the bottom of the networking stack. Network slicing offers a conceptual way of viewing and realizing service provider networks by building logical networks on top of a common and shared infrastructure layer. Network slices are created, changed and removed by management and orchestration functions, which must be considerably enhanced to support this level of multi-domain end-to-end virtualization.
Here are a few use cases for 5G network slicing, which will likely to lead to different phases of adoption:
• Network Slicing can be used for operational purposes by a single network operator, to differentiate characteristics and resources for different broad
classes of services
• Network slicing can be used by a service provider seeking to establish a virtual service provider network over the infrastructure of a physical network operator
• Network slicing can allow individual end customers (enterprises) to be able to customize a virtual network for their operations and consume these network resources in a more dynamic way similar to today’s cloud services (i.e. dynamically varying scale, or for temporary needs).
• Network slicing can allow for “traffic splitting” across networks (5G, 4G, and WiFi via hybrid fiber-coax).
Ericsson launches 5G RAN Slicing to spur 5G business growth:
- New software solution enables communications service providers to deliver innovative 5G use cases to consumers and enterprises with guaranteed performance
- Built on Ericsson radio expertise and a scalable and flexible architecture, the new solution supports customized business models and growth requirements of advanced use cases
- Ericsson 5G RAN Slicing strengthens end-to-end network slicing capabilities needed to deliver different services over a common infrastructure
Network slicing supports multiple logical networks for different service types over one common infrastructure. It is a key enabler for unlocking 5G revenue opportunities such as enhanced video, in-car connectivity and extended reality, Ericsson said.
Ericsson said what makes its product distinct is that it boosts end-to-end management and orchestration support for fast and efficient service delivery. This gives service providers the differentiation and guaranteed performance needed to monetize 5G investments. Ericsson’s network slicing platform is already in use in the consumer segment and for enterprise applications such as video-assisted remote operations, AR/VR, sports event streaming, cloud gaming, smart city, and applications for Industry 4.0 and public safety. Customers working with the system include KDDI and Swisscom.
An Ericsson report estimates USD 712 billion in an addressable consumer market for service providers by 2030. The addressable market for network slicing alone in the enterprise segment is projected at USD 300 billion by 2025 (GSMA data). As 5G scales up, service providers are looking to maximize returns on their investments by targeting innovative and high revenue-generating use cases such as cloud gaming, smart factories, and smart healthcare.
Toshikazu Yokai, Executive Officer, Chief Director of Mobile Technology, at KDDI, says: “End-to-end slicing is key to monetizing 5G investment and RAN slicing will help make that happen. Across different slices in our mobile networks, RAN slicing will deliver the quality assurance and latency required by our customers.”
Mark Düsener, Head of Mobile and Mass Market Communication at Swisscom, says: “We’re gearing up for the next stage of 5G where we expect to apply end-to-end network slicing, and RAN slicing is key to guaranteed performance. With efficient sharing of network resources across different slices, we will be able to provide communications for diverse 5G applications such as public safety or mobile private networks.”
Sue Rudd, Director, Networks and Service Platforms, Strategy Analytics, says: “Ericsson is the first vendor to offer a fully end-to-end solution with RAN slicing based on dynamic radio resource partitioning in under 1 millisecond using embedded radio control mechanisms to assure Quality of Service, Over the Air, in real time. This truly end-to-end approach integrates radio optimization with policy-controlled network orchestration to deliver inherently secure virtualized private RAN slicing without the loss of the 30 – 40 percent spectrum capacity due to ‘hard slicing’. Ericsson’s real-time dynamic RAN slicing bridges the ‘RAN gap’ to make e2e slicing profitable.”
About Ericsson 5G RAN Slicing:
The Ericsson 5G RAN Slicing solution offers a unique, multi-dimensional service differentiation handling that allows for the effective use of dynamic radio resource partitioning, slice-aware quality of service (QoS) enforcement, and slice orchestration functionality for service-level agreement (SLA) fulfilment. Built on Ericsson radio expertise and a flexible and scalable slicing architecture, the solution dynamically shares radio resources at 1 millisecond scheduling for best spectrum efficiency. This enables service providers to offer a variety of use cases with increased flexibility and versatility. It ensures end-to-end network slice management and orchestration support for fast service delivery and supports business models for virtual, hybrid and dedicated private networks. The solution can also power use cases for mission-critical and time-critical communication services.