Network slicing enables carriers to introduce specific capabilities to different parts of their 5G networks, with each 'slice' optimised for specific needs, and Ericsson has announced the availability of its slicing solution for radio access networks (RAN), enabling communications service providers (CSPs) to deliver customized 5G services.
The key to network slicing is the ability to offer specific services and options that might be necessary for one part of the market, but expensive and unnecessary to roll out to the whole network. Put simply, this means that different slices can be allocated different resources, such as capacity.
“Ericsson 5G RAN Slicing dynamically optimizes radio resources to deliver significantly more spectrum-efficient radio access network slicing,” said Per Narvinger, head of product area networks at Ericsson. “What makes our solution 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 with diverse use cases. With 5G as an innovation platform, we continue to drive value for our customers.”
Slicing 5G for CSPs
Two weeks ago Nokia announced that it had become the first vendor to deploy 4G and 5G network slicing – including access, transport and core – with a successful pilot of 4G and 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) network slicing with Saudi Arabian CSP, Mobily.
But Ericsson has gone a step further with its 5G slicing, which is now commercially available to its customers, and can allocate radio resources at 1 millisecond scheduling and supports multi-dimensional service differentiation handling across slices.
“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,” explained Sue Rudd, director, networks and service platforms at Strategy Analytics. “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.”
Network slicing supports multiple, logical networks for different service types, all delivered via one common infrastructure. And a report from Ericsson estimates a $712 billion consumer market for service providers by 2030.
To learn more about slicing technology you can download Ericsson’ special report on the subject here.