5G Network Slicing FAQs – A quick guide

Posted By :

In this brief blog, we will answer all the basic questions that revolve around the world of 5G network slicing.

1. What is network slicing?

5Network slicing is transforming an existing network into a set of logical networks and slicing it according to requirements.  The network slice is a logically separated, self-contained, independent network that can handle different services and conditions such as speed, latency, and reliability. 

2. Why is network slicing needed?

Network slicing provides many slices of the physical network, and each slice is isolated from the other. Network operators can now allocate the right number of resources per each network slice, enabling better utilization of resources.  For example, a particular slice may require low latency and low data rate, while another slice may require high latency and high throughput – the slice can be designed and configured accordingly to suit each use case.

Besides, it helps network operators to reduce their operating expenses (OPEX) and capital expenses (CAPEX); with the operational efficiency, it offers faster time to market in the case of 5G.

3. Highlights of network slicing:

  • Software-defined networking and network function virtualization for the partitioning of network architectures into virtual elements.
  • Network slicing allows network operators to have a portion of the network provide the exact features a segment of the customer base needs.
  • Network slicing is easy to adopt and provides specific needs of unique industries.

4. How many slices is 5G?

There can be limited network slices that can be configured, depending on business needs and operational efficiency. However, these slices will scale up over time with evolving technology and architecture that comes with it at that point in time.

5. What is the network function in 5G?

The 5G network functions are broadly classified as:

  • User Plane Function (UPF). 

UPF represents the evolution of the data plane function of the packet gateway (PGW), which gets separated from control and user plane separation (CUPS), and allows data forwarding to be deployed, and is capable to scale independently to facilitate packet processing and traffic aggregation, and that gets distributed to the network edge

  • Access and Mobility Management Function (AMF). 

AMF is designed to handle connections and mobility management tasks when it receives all connection and session information from end-user equipment or RAN. All session management tasks are forwarded to the Session Management Function (SMF).

  • Session Management Function (SMF)

The SMF is one of the control plane networks functions in the 5G network. SMF takes the responsibility of session management and interacts with the decoupled data plane by creating, updating, and removing Protocol Data Unit (PDU) sessions and managing session context within the User Plane Function (UPF).

6. How is network slicing done?

Each network slicing is administered by a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). Using software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), orchestration, analytics, and automation, MVNOs can create network slices that can support a set of users and specific applications.  

7. What is 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) slicing?

5G RAN slicing is a software solution that supports end-end network slicing capabilities for dynamic resource management and orchestration, ensuring an enhanced end-user experience for each use case 

8. What does network slicing in 5G enables?

In 5G, network slicing enables speed, latency, reliability, and security.  The creation of the network slices is dynamic and can be done in minutes with automation. Slicing promises to provide customers with the minimum amount of throughput for their connections.

9. How SDN and network slicing is going to help 5G?

SDN is a significant component implemented in the 5G networking architecture to reduce limitations often placed by using hardware. SDN’s primary purpose is to separate the control plane outside the switches and provide external data control using the SDN controller’s logical software component.

10. What are the benefits of the 5G network slicing technique?

5G provides low latency connections with high bandwidth capability; it’s faster to initiate a connection and send more information to the user.   With network slicing, businesses can allocate different latency and bandwidths for applications, depending on each use case. STL is ahead in the 5G race with its 5G ready digital platform helping telcos, cloud companies, and large enterprises deliver enhance end user experience. 

To understand on how STL’s 5G is making the big difference, read here. To know more about network slicing read our blog on network slicing model & its use cases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.