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RAN Slice Controller

Automate 5G RAN slicing operations with slice lifecycle management

What is 5G RAN slicing?

5G RAN slicing enables with the creation of sub-slices in the RAN and assures that they deliver the agreed throughput, latency, mobility and reliability.

5G RAN slicing is complemented by adjacent capabilities in the transport and core network domains, as well as end-to-end slicing capabilities.

Network slicing enables CSPs to provide tailored services to customers which can be rolled out quickly, supporting business opportunities addressing new segments to generate additional revenues.

Why is automation essential for 5G RAN slicing?

Creating and operating slices is a highly complex process. It’s time-consuming and error-prone, making it impractical to do this manually at scale.

Do you know what it takes to deploy just a single slice on a network with 10,000 gNodeBs? It requires creating of over 100,000 managed objects and updating several 100,000s radio parameters resulting in 100s of hours of labor.

And this is just for slice creation. Once the slice is up and running you also need to assure slice performance and assign / re-assign radio resources dynamically – a daunting task without automation. Not to mention ongoing tasks like backup and restore, modifications to network slices, etc.

Read on to learn how you can shorten 5G service innovation cycles with reduced complexity and automated RAN Slice lifecycle management.

What is the RAN Network Slice Subnet Management Function (R-NSSMF)?

The RAN Network Slice Subnet Management Function (R-NSSMF) enables automated network slicing in 5G RAN, improving time-to-market, QoS and reliability through less manual work.

Why should you use R-NSSMF?

  • Reduce slice creation time in the RAN from several hundred hours to a few minutes, while minimizing human errors
  • Automate routine tasks such as slice modification based on network changes, inventory updates, maintaining order history, order rollback, etc.
  • Monitor slice performance and ensure SLAs are met through closed-loop automation
  • Increase reliability and simplify troubleshooting with automated assurance, leveraging correlation and root-cause analysis to significantly reduce the number of alarms and field dispatches

What is the Nokia RAN Slice Controller solution?

The Nokia RAN Slice Controller solution provides the R-NSSMF capability for physical RAN, Cloud RAN and O-RAN deployments. With automated slice lifecycle management capabilities designed for multi-vendor and multi-cloud environments, it relies on standards-based open interfaces and SDKs. In addition, the solution comes pre-integrated with Nokia Digital Operations Center (CSMF/NSMF) and Nokia MantaRay NM (R-NFMF).

RAN Slice Controller modules

  • Nokia Orchestration Center offers capabilities for fast design and deployment of slices, reducing time-to-value significantly.
  • Nokia Assurance Center enables proactive assurance of slices in runtime to meet KPIs and to drive down costs through AIOps capabilities.
  • Unified Inventory is a near real-time discovery, reconciliation and synchronization engine for network and service assets. It closes the loop between assurance and orchestration processes.
  • Domain Adaptation provides an abstracted view of the network domain and hides its inherent complexity.

Nokia’s CSMF, NSMF, R-NSSMF and C-NSSMF capabilities can be delivered in a single solution supporting all four functions. They can be deployed all at once or added over time one by one.

ran-slice-controller-diagram

What are the benefits of using Nokia RAN Slice Controller for 5G RAN Slicing?

Single pane of glass for slice operation

  • Automated slice lifecycle management
  • 3GPP-based slice orchestration, inventory management and performance assurance

Modular solution for lower TCO

  • Installed as part of Orchestration Center, Assurance Center and Unified Inventory
  • Lower TCO when deployed with NSMF & C-NSSMF
  • Easy to expand the solution to include NSMF & C-NSSMF by leveraging the common platform

Designed for multi-vendor environments

  • Integration with multi-vendor NSMF and NFMF
  • SDK for customization and non-standard integration

Pre-integrated solution

  • Pre-integration with Nokia Digital Operations Center as NSMF
  • Pre-integration with MantaRay NM as NFMF 

Nokia RAN Slice Controller proof points

With deep knowledge of 5G networks and network slicing with service and network operation know-how, Nokia uniquely combines

200+

CSP and enterprise customers rely on our Service Orchestration and Assurance capabilities

Day 1

involvement in 5G slicing standardization, trials, PoCs and deployments

Customer case study - 5G slicing automation

A North American CSP with a multi-vendor network needed automated end-to-end slice management capabilities.

5G slice management requirements:

  • Support for several use cases such as temporary shared slice for events and private 5G eMBB slice service for enterprise customers
  • Shared RAN network with multi-operator core
  • Aggressive project timeline in complex multi-vendor environment

Nokia’s slicing automation solution:

  • RAN slicing (R-NSSMF), core slicing (C-NSSMF) and end-to-end slice orchestration (CSMF & NSMF)
  • Slice assurance with closed-loop automation
  • Automated order processing with integration to existing enterprise marketplace
  • Leveraging the public cloud as a readily available flexible infrastructure for quicker deployment

The outcome using Nokia’s RAN Slice Controller

  • Rapid implementation enabled by industry standards compliance, large library of network adapters and public cloud deployment
  • Simplified closed-loop automation due to single design for both orchestration and assurance
  • Complete slice implementation automation: from the order submitted via the self-service enterprise portal by the customer to slice instantiation across multi-vendor cloud, core and transport domains

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