Network Slicing – Tailoring Networks to Customers’ Needs
Looking into the future, it’s clear that the fifth generation of mobile communications (5G), will transform the telecommunications landscape, reaching segments of the industry that are currently not fully exploiting the potential of mobile services. While previous generations of mobile communications were providing basic QoS (Quality of Service) levels for different services, 5G has upped the game. It is a far more adaptive network designed to drive innovation by unlocking innumerable new use cases and creating unheard-of business opportunities across industries. 5Gs ability to offer a different mix of capabilities to meet all the diverse requirements simultaneously is enabled through one of its founding pillars, Network Slicing.
Network Slicing – Creating Bespoke Networks
With virtualized 5G networks increasingly becoming more complex, automation is crucial for businesses to operate at scale to bring down operational costs and reduce time-to-market. The new and diverse use cases that have been enabled or enhanced by 5G are powered by lightning speed, greater bandwidth, and lower latency. Each of these applications will have its unique requirements, making a one-size-fits-all approach to service delivery obsolete. This is where Network Slicing will help operators deliver differentiated and customized network experience using numerous policy-driven network ‘slices’ with unique SLAs, latency, bandwidths, pricing, security features, etc.
Network slicing, built into the 5G standard as per 3GPP specifications, embodies the concept of running multiple networks as virtually independent business operations on shared physical infrastructure efficiently and cost-effectively. It enables operators to configure thousands of differentiated networks or slices out of the same network infrastructure. Each slice is a virtual end-to-end network on its own and delivers pre-defined capabilities designed to serve a specific customer’s business need(s) at pre-determined Service Level Agreements (SLAs) per-slice level.
Slicing – Creating New Revenue Opportunists
Sweeping technological advancements across industries are driving the demand for high-performance and flexible communications services. Network slicing is fast emerging as the way forward to bridge the service gap between ‘decent’ public networks that cannot meet these demands and specialized private networks that require a much higher investment and infrastructure on-prem. There is now a clear business potential for network slicing, as highlighted by the Modor Intelligence Report.
According to the report, the network slicing market was valued at USD 143.63 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 446.33 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 20.8% over 2021 to 2026. Also, according to GSMA, the network slicing market will be worth USD 300 billion to network operators globally by 2025. They can tap into new customer segments and extend their business offerings by renting out multiple virtual slices while still operating from a single physical network. Also, network slicing capabilities will allow telcos to offer critical and sensitive services organizations their own private 5G networks for secure and real-time connectivity to the cloud helping meet their ever-evolving infrastructure and business needs.
Furthermore, network slicing’s flexibility is unprecedented. Multiple slices offering different capabilities can now be packaged as a single offering targeting customers with diverse business requirements. Therefore, industries like logistics, consumer, government, utilities, healthcare, automotive, manufacturing, and AR/VR are high potential commercial opportunities for the application of network slicing.
Benefits of Network Slicing
Listed below are a few defining factors driving the holy grail of 5G, network slicing. Benefits and services that go beyond connectivity.
- Offers targeted and optimized services to the CSPs’ clients in an efficient, timely, and cost-efficient manner.
- Customers get only the desired amount of performance and features
- Gives network operators a much more comprehensive control over allocating bandwidth to their customers
- Creating several logically isolated networks or slices out of the same physical infrastructure shared by multiple 5G operators helps in reducing the CAPEX significantly for these operators
- Creates unprecedented new commercial possibilities by tailoring each slice to specific customers’ requirements
- Reduces time-to-market as there is a decrease in dependencies on other network functions and teams during the integration and testing phase
- Increases robustness as breakdown or outages in one slice does not affect other slices
- Can customize security per slice to meet unique security requirements
- In the event of a successful attack, it will be contained within the slice and not move laterally across the entire network
- Easier to maintain data isolation between slice customers as exposure evolves. Can ensure complete isolation of mission-critical application data and processes on a network slice
- Easier for operators to install and run applications on their clients’ behalf. Helps improve the performance and efficiency of applications by using advanced tools like AI & ML on targeted data for predictive analysis
- Operators can offer enterprises the capability to manage their services or slices through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
- Allows integration into existing business processes
Network slicing is one of the building blocks to a smarter and more flexible core network. Just as digitization has transformed the consumer market to unimaginable range of experiences, we believe that network slicing, and its inherent capabilities, will prove to be a similar catalyst for businesses across industries. As a key enabling technology that will make 5G use cases profitable beyond existing consumer services, network slicing will unlock newer vistas of growth and profitability by facilitating business activities in ways we cannot even begin to envision today. To truly channelize the power of network slicing, operators must embrace a fresh and out-of-the-box approach to building and running networks.
Our network slicing solution is best suited for private network requirements and simulation environments and can become part of any incumbent system with minimum integration effort.
Amantya’s cloud-native core, compliant with 3GPP standards, enables slicing allowing for multiple use cases to be implemented using the same private 5G physical infrastructure. By combining our 5G Core with other Amantya innovations, enterprises can deploy network slices and new revenue-generating services to deliver customized and differentiated services while significantly reducing time-to-market and operational costs.
In addition, Amantya also helps enable slice management and automation with support from slice ordering to slice deployment.
Keen to know more about network slicing and how you can harness it as a profitable business outcome? Get in touch. Our 5G team is always up for a new adventure in transformative technology!