The idea of network slicing within upcoming 5G networks is getting a lot of attention lately. Network slicing allows mobile network operators to manage and operate multiple virtual networks over a common physical network infrastructure. And now, armed with $8.9 million funding from the European Commission, a group called the 5G-Transformer Project is working to advance the use of network slicing within 5G networks.
The 5G-Transformer Project, established in January, consists of a collection of academic institutions, network operators, and suppliers. That includes Ericsson, InterDigital, Mirantis, NEC, Nokia, Orange, Telefonica (News - Alert), and others.
The group aims to enable vertical industries to meet their service requirements within customized mobile transport and computing platform slices. And it wants to aggregate and federate transport networking and computing fabric from the edge to the core and cloud to create and manage MTP slices throughout a federated virtualized infrastructure.
The project’s website says the project has defined three building blocks that will allow for that. The first is a vertical slicer, which it says will serve as the logical entry point, or one-stop shop, through which vertical industries can support the creation of their respective transport slices within minutes. The second building block is the service orchestrator. That will orchestrate the federation of transport networking and computing resources from multiple domains and manage their allocation to slices. And the third is the mobile transport and computing platform. That will serve as the underlying unified transport stratum for integrated fronthaul and backhaul networks.
In a Mirantis blog posted yesterday, Nick Chase wrote: “In the OpenStack world, we’re used to partitioning a single network into multiple virtual networks, using them to isolate traffic from each other in order to provide multiple users and clients with their own network. We’re also used to creating different levels of service for different users, such as using different flavors for instances or volumes.”
“Network slicing enables us to do both,” Chase explained. “With network slicing, we can create different virtual networks that provide different levels of performance and different SLAs. For example, a hospital’s personnel communications might have different technical requirements than a car company trying to run autonomous vehicles.”
Network slicing was part of an intercontinental 5G trial network DT, Ericsson, and SK Telecom (News - Alert) recently built.
"Our customers are demanding global connectivity with a unified service experience," said Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CTO Deutsche Telekom (News - Alert). "Network slicing is envisaged as a key enabler to support multiple services in the 5G era."
Alex Jinsung Choi, CTO SK Telecom, added, "5G is not just a faster network. 5G will provide extreme user experience anywhere and anytime, even when the user roams across different operators globally. Federated network slicing will enable seamless platform sharing among operators at a global scale for continuous and guaranteed user experience."
Edited by Alicia Young