Mobile operators and telecommunication providers are in a race for getting ready for the advent and widespread implementation of 5G network across the globe. The invention of 5G network represents the advancement of the 4G network in terms of performance, capacity, and spectrum-access in radio networks.
5G network slicing technology is equipped with a significant, ground-breaking design feature which lets network operators offer portions of their network for different customers with different needs, such as implementation of smart home, connected car, internet of things (IOT), or smart energy grid. Each of these needs require a unique set of enhanced resources and network topologies, guaranteeing coverage of the SLA-specified factors like capacity, speed, and connectivity.
With the introduction of 5G and edge computing, there are massive opportunities for new business model innovations for communication service providers (CSPs). Network slicing is a key, using which service providers can enter new market segments and develop their business across various segment.
What is Network Slicing?
Network slicing joins multiple virtual networks on top of a shared network. Each portion of the network can have its own security rules, logical topology, and performance characteristics—within the limits levied by the original physical network.
A sliced network can be achieved by transforming it into a set of logical networks on top of a shared infrastructure. Every single logical network is intended to offer services to a specific business purpose and includes all the essential network resources, configured and connected end-to-end.
Advantages of Network Slicing
- Network slicing significantly changes the overall lookout of networking by extracting, isolating, coordinating, and separating the logical network modules from the original physical network resources. This, eventually results in the enhancement of the network architecture principles and competences.
- Network providers can assign suitable amount of resources according to network slice. Thus, it aids in effective use of resources. For instance, one network slice can be organized to provide low latency & low data rate while the other network slice can be organized to supply high throughput.
- It aids network providers in decreasing expenses (i.e. OPEX) and capital expenditure (i.e. CAPEX).
- It provides enhancement in operational efficacy and offers faster delivery of the 5G network services.
What is Trending in the Network Slicing Arena?
Several top network providers are taking efforts to stay ahead of the competition by implementing several business strategies such as merges & acquisitions, partnerships, novel inventions, and geographical expansion of their service offerings. For instance, SK Telecom has implemented network slicing on its commercial 5G network, which it intends to set up all through its base stations to offer customized services.
In October 2020, Nokia, an innovative global leader in 5G, networks and phones, has revealed that it has become the first gear producer to provide automation of 4G and 5G network slicing through all network domains such as transport, RAN, and core that will allow network providers to set up network slices within minutes.
Moreover, MEF, a global industry forum for network and cloud providers, is currently working on a standard for 5G slicing, with an aim of allowing service definitions that are consistent from one service operators to another. The notion behind 5G network slicing is to deliver services with varied factors depending on the application supported.
In October 2020, Dish Network, an American television provider based in Englewood, Colorado, has opted for DigitalRoute’s Usage Data Platform to monetize 5G services and business models. DigitalRoute’s platform will combine with DISH’s network systems to orchestrate and manage the network events created by 5G services.
In July 2020, Oppo, a Chinese smartphone developer, has helped Ericsson, Qualcomm, and MediaTek to set up the UK’s first ever 5G standalone (SA) network slicing facilities in the UK’s Coventry University using Vodafone’s network. They joint efforts of these companies have created network slice switching software solutions which will allow users to switch between different slices according to their requirements.
Future of Network Slicing Industry
As telecom service providers are switching toward 5G, they are looking forward to harness the benefits of network slicing technology and opening up new growth opportunities in the networking arena. As per a report by Research Dive, the global network slicing market [WU1] is projected to garner $1,456.6 million by 2027, despite the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. This is mainly due to rising demands for broadband services with the help of mobile networking and rising remote access services in various sectors including retail, IT, telecom, healthcare, and many others.
Owing to lockdown conditions, several businesses have become greatly dependent on networks to control the burden of customer queries due to less availability of employees. Furthermore, growing implementation of wireless networking services across the globe are likely to make an optimistic impact on the network slicing industry. As a final point, the network slicing industry is soon going to reach newer heights and obtain its dominance in the world of 5G network.