Nokia has become the first vendor to deploy 4G and 5G network slicing – including access, transport and core – announcing that it has successfully piloted 4G and 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) network slicing with Saudi Arabian CSP, Mobily.
The trial with the Saudi Arabian communications provider is the first network slicing trial on a live commercial network, and it showcases fixed wireless access (FWA) slicing for the first time.
“Mobily continuously works in partnership with global vendors to try new innovative technologies,” said Alaa Malki, CTO at Mobily. “Network slicing will enable mobile operators to rapidly provide, manage and assure services within minutes. Each slice can have a different network performance, quality, routing and security capabilities as well as Key Performance Indicators for service assurance.”
Network slicing services
The ongoing pilot, which took place in the capital city of Riyadh, included sliced access, transport and core networks with management and assurance capabilities. Nokia’s 4G/5G network slicing solution works in LTE, 5G non-standalone (NSA) and 5G standalone (SA) networks, and provides mobile broadband access from 4G/5G devices and Customer Premises Equipment (CPE).
“For early pioneering operators it’s important to get practical real-life experience of the new slicing technology and its business opportunities,” explained Ari Kynäslahti, head of technology and strategy at Nokia Mobile Networks. “Nokia was the first vendor to offer a slicing solution and we are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with Mobily to offer 4G and 5G network slicing services to their customers.”
The 5G broadband solution will enable Mobily to offer new FWA services to priority consumer and enterprise customers, and allows Mobily to slice per application, including voice, data, online gaming or home office applications, enabling them to divide its network into multiple virtual networks, and offer service tiers and premium services.
During the pilot, Mobily utilized Nokia’s AirScale 4G/5G base stations with its NetAct solution with management, control and assurance, as well as Nokia’s routers, Network Services Platform (NSP) and Digital Operations software. Mobily also used existing third-party core as well as Nokia’s FastMile 4G/5G FWA gateway and third-party CPE products.