Fixed access network slicing

The potential of fixed access network slicing

As broadband operators start weighing up the potential of fixed access network slicing, new research from Benoît Felten, Chief Research Officer of Diffraction Analysis, sheds light on the risks and opportunities. Download The Potential of Fixed Network Slicing, based on interviews with 15 service providers around the world, and see what your peers are thinking about fixed access network slicing.

In a maturing and competitive market, diminishing returns on core activities of connectivity and digital services are forcing fixed network service providers to take a fresh look at their business practices and operating models.

Nokia Fixed Access Network Slicing is a powerful way of creating new revenue streams and opening up co-investment opportunities. Nokia uses virtualization to partition the access network into virtual network slices. This lets you run separate services or traffic types on different slices completely independently from one another.

Virtual slices of the fixed network infrastructure can be offered in a Network as a Service (NaaS) model to internal customers (e.g. the mobile organization within a converged operator) or third parties. This model unlocks new business opportunities for you to serve end-customers. Virtualization provides an open and programmable network infrastructure that allows you to connect more users, more segments and more entities that would otherwise use parallel networks. The resulting sliced infrastructure provides the control and flexibility necessary to run innovative broadband services that differentiate in customer experience and invites convergence in networks for faster time-to-market and improved capital efficiency.

Highlights

Create a virtually unlimited number of slices

The 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 NETCONF/YANG open standards in our virtualization engine, the sliced network is multi-vendor by design. If nodes can be programmed, they can be managed by our SDN management and control solution, Altiplano. So, in a virtually sliced network, equipment from different vendors can sit happily alongside each other, in different slices or on the same slice. With the hand-over point sitting at the level of 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" we 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.

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