White paper

Network slice configuration and service slice lifecycle management

Summary

Network slicing is a new concept introduced in 3GPP 5G specifications to allocate end-to-end (E2E) virtual networks to special use cases or verticals. Beyond bandwidth or latency, request for a network slice can specify the network functions that should be part of the network slice. This capability generates high interest from communications service providers (CSPs) in terms of business opportunities such as allocating one slice for automotive, another for healthcare, and such. However, slicing is quite complex as it spans across heterogeneous access, transport, edge, and cloud - a very dynamic environment. Deploying new slices will require an E2E, highly automated, multi-domain service orchestration. Managing the capacity of the slice to meet quality of service (QoS) commitments will also involve combining a highly scalable service assurance system and effective closed-loop lifecycle management.

5G and slicing introduction

5G networks will not only support a wide range of new services, consumer, and enterprise services but also mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and a number of industry verticals and government needs. Each of these services has different requirements. Some of them can be grouped under the same category, namely, consumer mobile broadband while others are more specific, that is, MVNO networks with some functions that are managed directly by MVNO, highly secured government, police networks, or highly reliable low-latency remote surgery services.
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