5G network slicing enables businesses to enhance their network security, reliability and flexibility needs by creating independent logical network slices on the same physical cellular wireless network infrastructure. 5G Americas announced the release of its latest white paper covering the role of network slicing in 5G networks entitled, “Commercializing 5G Network Slicing.”  

Chris Pearson, president of 5G Americas said, “5G networks are making progress to provide high levels of speed, latency and reliability, catering to the particular needs of the service or application and by having multiple slices of the same physical 5G network, network slicing unleashes a multiverse of new applications and use cases.” 

According to the white paper, the network slicing framework is one of the major additions to the 5G Standalone standards. While it is still in its infancy, it is also one of the essential pillars for enabling operators to create and deliver new services. Network slicing is a complex technical capability as it touches nodes in all the wireless network domains—device, core, transport and radio. 

“Commercializing 5G Network Slicing” explores how end to end network slicing can enable communication service providers to meet all the needs from their enterprise and business customers. It provides a deep dive into the main technical concept of network slicing and explains the technical concepts and standards that support them. It covers network slicing-based services with future improvements and insights into architecture models while providing clarity into the complexity of initial commercialization possibilities.

Topics explored in this white paper include:

  • Introduction to network slicing concepts
  • Standards and Industry Forum Framework for network slicing
  • Network slicing use cases and ecosystem status
  • Network Function Virtualization in network slicing
  • Evolution of network slicing technology: standards development, vertical slicing, horizontal slicing, shared networks and multi-tenancy. 

The white paper also does more than just clarifying the engineering concepts and use cases. It takes a detailed look into the central compromises of business and technology as network slicing commercial products and services are considered across different varieties of slicing, including localized, area-wide, nationwide, temporary and long-term or permanent use cases. Additional opportunities for upsell or premium services are also discussed, including subscription-based, policy-based and application-based slicing scenarios.

Karri Kuoppamaki, senior vice-president, Radio Network Technology and Strategy, T-Mobile USA said, “With network slicing and a 5G Standalone network, operators can better design and build a network to meet emerging user requirements and provide new solutions to help consumers and enterprises meet their connectivity needs. Identifying new valuable use cases with network slicing is critical to justify the required investment in network slicing-related solutions and architecture. Congratulations to our Network Technology engineers, especially Adrian Singereanu, who led this whitepaper’s development alongside Suresh Thanneeru, and the rest of the team for constantly innovating and pushing the industry forward.”

Helen Zeng, staff consulting solutions architect, VMware and 5G Americas working group leader further added, “3GPP introduced network slicing in Release 15, and the added developments and refinements through Release 17 provided enhanced capabilities. Undoubtedly the promise of network slicing is phenomenal, but it is still in its early stages. As 5G Standalone networks proliferate globally, it is possible that slicing will become a fundamental building block for the mobile communications ecosystem.”