5G Network Slicing: The Future of 5G Architecture

October 5, 2018

Benefits of Network Slicing in a 5G World

As technology reaches a new milestone with 5G speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps, broadband networking will play a crucial role in integrating more than 75 billion devices into Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

Take 5G for a Test Drive

5G promises unified connectivity and secure cloud access to address the massive IoT revolution that will leverage low-power, wide-area wireless technology. 5G IoT will give the world smart cities capable of:

As more things around us are fitted with adapters and sensors to detect movement, operations and output, navigating a virtual inventory of data from multiple sources will require a well-adjusted organizational framework.

For industries, businesses and everyday users wanting to get the best out of 5G, network slicing offers a way to flexibly and efficiently monitor, control and delegate permissions associated with keeping track of thousands of connected devices that perform multiple functions.

What Is Network Slicing?

Network slicing, as the name implies, allows multiple virtual networks to be created on top of a shared physical infrastructure. Like a pizza, each virtual (end-to-end) network “slice” stemming from a single 5G network can be customized and grouped to suit the operator, application, device or service according to your favorite organizational flavor.

This organizational elasticity helps network architects save money and time and makes their overall deployment strategies and solutions more efficient.

Why Is 5G Network Slicing Important for Cloud Solutions?

In order to perform IoT analytics from data collected from hundreds or thousands of sensors and actuators over the cloud, 5G requires large-scale distributed computing and storage infrastructures. Companies must ensure their framework of IoT modules, platforms and connectivity is capable of supporting a 5G network. Redesigning core networks will be a highly lucrative business strategy in the coming years.

As more businesses upgrade their frameworks to support emerging 5G technologies, the capabilities for multitasking and delegating new, innovative departments will grow. Industry innovators are taking the next step by evaluating the use of multi-tenant network slicing on shared platforms to delegate better real-time interactions.

According to Phil Wainewright with ZDNet, allowing multiple tenants to control each slice according to their needs is the ideal way to set up a network architecture that makes the most out of the public cloud environment, because the cloud is “where all the connections are.”

5G will see the integration of every device in the cloud — including portable and wearable devices.

A Practical Example of 5G Network Slicing: How It’s Done

5G Americas released a report in 2016 that states, “Combining cloud technologies with the capabilities of software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) provides the necessary tools to enable network slicing.”

Multi-tenant network slicing gives wireless carriers the option of optimizing networks to service the requirements of various connected IoT devices. Think of it this way: IoT devices aren’t all created equal. In a single smart operation, you may have multiple IoT devices sending and transmitting data with different bandwidth needs. It makes sense to slice the network according to bandwidth and latency needs.

With a 5G framework, a three-way network slicing could look like this:

  1. Massive Control (uMTC): High bandwidth, low latency — self-driving cars, drones, robotic surgery
  2. Massive Content (eMMB): High bandwidth, medium latency — tablets, smartphones, VR and AR streaming
  3. Massive Sensing (mMTC): Low bandwidth, medium latency — IoT, M2M sensors, tracking modules

It also makes sense to monitor and control IoT devices. Network administrators who are monitoring sensory data streaming from temperature gauges and energy readings are not typically part of the same group responsible for controlling drones and updating self-driving vehicle information.

Network slicing is designed to flexibly and efficiently streamline workflow and administrative permissions across a complex workspace.

Preparing Networks for 5G IoT Solutions

Telit Cinterion is leading the way to 5G with over 20 years of experience in IoT solutions worldwide. Our powerful portfolio of modules, SIM cards, global data plans and platforms are designed to make cloud solutions simple and effective across any network.

Connect with us today to find out how our IoT platform can help you slice your network and set up your IoT network architecture any way you want.