September 8, 2016 —
One of the biggest visions of 5G is the incredible speeds compared with 4G. About 100x. There are any number of emerging technologies that add to that vision, but in the end, unless we go Quantum, the only way that is going to happen is if networks are always running at peak efficiency.
Network slicing is, perhaps, the most promising platform to make that efficiency happen. This will enable network operators to bring on one of the more disruptive technologies across all platforms. Anything as a service (Xaas). In this case, it will be bandwidth-as-a-service, meaning network operators will be able to expand and contract networks as the demand requires. Examples of that include: mobile broadband video, massive machine-type communication with transportation monitoring and control; mass market personalized TV with big data analytics; super multiview and augmented reality/virtual reality, massive “Internet of Things” offerings and enterprise solutions, just to name a few.
While it is called network slicing, it is really nothing more than dynamic bandwidth availability, on-demand, created by fabricating a series of “virtual networks,” each optimized to the particular application. (NFV, anyone?) Each network can offer different types of services that can support various customer segments such as those just mentioned because it can meet the disparaging configuration and parameter requirements. And each of these use cases can now be given its own virtual network slice.
What’s more, these network slices can be configured on the fly and managed by the application owner, not the network operator. And these will be scalable and cross-platform capable, so there will be seamless allocation of resources without slowing down any part of the network.
The term network slicing is a simple, convenient way to help the technically challenged get a better understanding of how all of this is going to function, come 5G and the IoX – just like getting your own slice of the pie.