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Oct 16 2018

3 things you might not know about fixed access network slicing

It’s time to set a few things straight. SDN/NFV won’t save the world (sorry to disappoint you). But it will do a whole host of things better than we can do them today. Which might just free up some resources for someone else to save the world.

At Nokia we’re really focusing on these real-world applications. In fixed networks, one of the first to gain traction has been network slicing , which I’ve written about before in this blog. Applying virtualization to the fixed network enables us to create discrete, virtual network slices which can be independently operated for separate services or by separate service providers. This opens a host of opportunities for new revenues, cooperative investments, and reduced costs.

To set a few more things straight, here are 3 things you may not have realized you can do with slicing, or at least with Nokia’s SDN-enabled virtual network slicing.

Create a virtually unlimited number of slices

Your physical network can be partitioned as many times as you like. In a software-defined world, there are no limitations and it’s as easy to manage 5 slices as it is 50. The slicing solution should be programmable and scalable. Imagine how hard it would be to maintain performance while running many operational queries. Our cloud-based solution does not have such bottlenecks as it’s running on off-the-shelf servers, meaning that there are plenty of resources to let operators manage large amounts of parameters without slowing down nodes.

Have a headache-free multi-vendor environment

Because we use YANG open standards in our virtualization engine, the network is multi-vendor by design. If nodes can be programmed, they can be managed by our SDN management and control solution, the Altiplano Access Controller. So, in a virtually sliced network, equipment from different vendors can sit happily alongside each other. With the hand-over point sitting in the data center, tenants can bring their own control software to operate their slice: there is no SDN controller or EMS lock-in on top of the sliced infrastructure.

Make each slice as personal as you (or your tenants) want

By “personal” I mean that anyone operating services on a slice can tailor them exactly to their requirements. Altiplano exposes an open network model that does not differ from a physical network. The service provider can differentiate on access characteristics – everything from bandwidth, to forwarding models, to QoS – and optimize the configuration of the slices they control. Differentiation extends to the user experience: a slice tenant deploys their own (branded) home unit, sets their own service levels, provides their own customer service.

Mind blown? There’s so much potential with software-defined access networks in general and slicing in particular, they can make your network truly open for business. Stop by our session at BBWF 2018 on Wednesday 24th of October: Vodafone, Diffraction Analysis and our CTO David Eckard will be happy to talk you through.

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokia and @nokianetworks using #fiber #SDN #cloud

About Filip de Greve

As product marketing manager at Nokia, Filip focuses on new market strategies for innovative copper and fiber based access solutions. He holds a Ph.D. in telecomm and has over 10 years experience in the ICT & telecom industry with broad expertise in hardware, software and services. He loves road cycling and thrives on thinking outside the box to explore new ideas and concepts.

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