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4G/5G Slicing

Unlock new use cases and revenue opportunities

After the successful launch of 5G, operators will move their focus on capturing new revenue opportunities and new ways to monetize their network investments. Enabling network slicing capabilities in 4G and 5G networks helps operators address a large customer base especially in the enterprise space, and create major new value both for enterprises and consumers. It also opens up new partnering opportunities with Cloud Service and Infrastructure Providers.

What is network slicing?

Network slicing means creating virtual, independent end-to-end networks or ‘slices’ within the mobile operator’s physical network consisting of the Radio Access Network (RAN), the transport layer and the Core network. Network slices have tailored capabilities to meet the requirements of different applications, services, and user categories. Such capabilities include, for example, network performance, quality of service, security and routing capabilities.

Network slicing unlocks new business opportunities for operators. They can offer new services such as Virtual Private Networks for enterprises in campus or city areas, 5G Fixed Wireless Access services for homes and home offices as well as Cloud gaming services with low-latency enabled by edge slicing.

Why is RAN slicing important?

5G RAN slicing is essential for supporting new innovative use cases that 5G enables. RAN slicing solution helps operators provide high performing, high quality, secure and independently manageable  services to their customers.

RAN slicing consists of network capabilities that are configured to meet the agreed service-level requirements tailored for each slice. With network slicing, operators can optimize and prioritize the use of their 4G and 5G network resources.


What is Nokia RAN Slicing solution?

Nokia RAN slicing solution is based on an innovative implementation of user, application, and service awareness in the Radio Access Network. Nokia RAN slicing works in 4G LTE, 5G non-standalone (NSA) and 5G standalone (SA) networks simultaneously and supports all commercially available 4G, 5G NSA and 5G SA devices. Slice continuity between 4G and 5G radio networks allows operators to make best use of their network assets including spectrum.

Nokia RAN slicing technology is a combination of air interface and radio transport capabilities that enable isolating high-value business traffic from regular Internet traffic (patent pending technology) . In addition, the Nokia solution supports Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to meet the customer needs.

GTI Awards 2021

In GTI Awards 2021, Nokia 4G/5G Slicing solution won the Innovative Breakthrough in Mobile Technology Award.

Capabilities of Nokia RAN Slicing solution

Nokia RAN Slicing includes the following capabilities:

Advanced radio scheduling for 4G and 5G slicing, supporting QoS scheduler and dynamic radio resource allocations. 

Isolating sliced and unsliced traffic in RAN transport, as well as securing sliced traffic.

For dynamic network slicing with URSP technology deployments, association of different slices to different QoS classes or radio resource groups.

Slice aware admission control to manage users and bearers.

Furthermore, RAN transport slices can be routed and switched independently for directing traffic to local enterprise applications, edge cloud applications or enterprise networks. Our advanced 5G scheduler provides a smooth evolution path to supporting new advanced use cases enabled by ultra-reliable low latency communications (URLLC), vehicle-to-everything (V2X) and manufacturing Internet of Things (mIoT).

Nokia RAN slicing capabilities are software upgrades to AirScale 4G/5G base station products. Additionally, we support earlier Nokia Flexi Multiradio and a range of Nokia small cells products.  Our RAN slicing works in multivendor networks and is compatible with 3GPP and IETF standards.


How to automate RAN slice management

When the amount of customers and slices starts increasing, automating RAN slice management is the key to achieving cost efficiency and scalability. Nokia provides an automated RAN slice management solution for 4G, 5G NSA and 5G SA slices. It allows operators to select, deploy and manage slices across multiple radio sites in just minutes. You can deploy slices in an area consisting of one or more 4G/5G base stations, a campus, a city, or even a wider area as required by the end customer.

With our solution, you can manage service quality, dynamic radio resource allocation, RAN traffic isolation and engineering as well security separately for each slice. By collecting defined Key Performance Indicators from 4G/5G base stations operators can ensure they meet network slicing service levels agreed with customers. We also provide open APIs for connecting with orchestration and assurance systems to enable end-to-end network slice life cycle management.

Nokia’s RAN slice management automation solution is compatible with 3GPP architecture including R-NFMF and R-NSSMF functionalities.

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