Nokia announced the launch of its new end-to-end slicing network functionality for 4G and 5G New Radio (NR), claiming to the first vendor to offer this capability.
In a release, Nokia said that the solution will support connectivity from 4G and 5G devices over the sliced network to applications running in private and public clouds. The vendor said that the solution will be available later this year.
Nokia’s new solution enables operators to start building their network slicing business today with LTE and 5G NR. The slicing capability can be deployed via a software upgrade into existing LTE and 5G non-standalone (NSA) networks, and can also be used in subsequent 5G standalone (SA) networks. The slicing continuity between LTE and 5G NR allows operators to maximize their network coverage for new mobile connectivity services, Nokia said.
The Nordic vendor also highlighted that the user and service-aware slicing functionality has been introduced to Nokia radio access products for the first time and is also supported in Nokia transport and core products with control, management and assurance systems. The solution supports all 4G and 5G devices and works in a multi-vendor environment.
Nokia’s slicing solution is being developed in collaboration with Austrian operator A1 and Nordic carrier Telia.
Nokia noted that private wireless slicing also opens up new network functionalities for different applications, such as surveillance and automation.
Nokia is already trialing live 4G/5G slicing use cases with customers powered by a Software Defined Network (SDN) radio slice controller as well as a transport slice controller. The trial includes a Nokia cloud packet core slice orchestrator to support network deployment automation as well as an SD-WAN software solution providing a managed 4G/5G network slice to private and public cloud services.
“We are proud to be among the first operators worldwide who successfully demonstrated end-to-end network slicing, spanning the core, transport and radio over our 4G as well as 5G networks. Network slicing in 4G and extended in 5G will play a key role in allowing A1 to develop new market segments and revenue streams,” said Alexander Kuchar, director for technology and future services at A1 Telekom Austria Group.
“It has been really exciting to be the first operator to conduct a live test of Nokia’s new network slicing feature,” said Jari Collin, CTO of Telia Finland. “As a 5G frontrunner in business customer pilots and solutions, we know that this will be a key functionality that will deliver many of the promises our customers are waiting for. With slicing, we can efficiently use our spectrum to deliver seamless and reliable connectivity and also strengthen our leading IoT position with nationwide deployment of new technologies like LTE-M and NB-IoT.”
Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks, Nokia, said that 4G/5G slicing enables multiple new use cases which operators can start building now to create new revenue streams.