Communications service providers (CSPs) are aware that network traffic is inherently unpredictable due to its constantly shifting and expanding nature. This makes it difficult to deliver the consistent, always-on services that customers expect. However, 5G technology can change this by combining the coverage of large, public networks with the tailored properties of a 5G private network.
These benefits are enabled by network slicing. Essentially network slicing partitions and provisions a myriad of virtual networks within a single physical infrastructure. This enables service providers to optimize traffic for specific use cases, including those that necessitate high reliability, low latency, or specialized security.
The right tools enable greater returns on 5G infrastructure investments
Network slicing enables CSPs to deliver differentiated services to enterprises and consumers at scale. However, to make this a reality, CSPs must develop tools that enable unprecedented network insight to get there.
A study titled “Network Slicing: A Go-to-Market Guide to Capture High Revenue Potential” estimates that network slicing can generate $200 billion for CSPs by 2030. CSPs with 5G core networks can offer scaled, specialized service tiers to both enterprise and subscriber clients to recoup infrastructure investments and generate additional revenue streams. These expanded revenue capabilities can help CSPs rationalize the substantial costs of establishing 5G networks.
However, if CSPs want to provide customized services successfully, they must also be able to guarantee these new offerings while maintaining the level of service that their customers are accustomed to. CSPs will require tools that provide end-to-end network visibility to address not only the expansion and complexity of the network but also the transition from 4G to 5G functionality. The ideal approach for organizations that wish to enhance their service offerings with these new capabilities is to design in observability from the beginning, not as an afterthought. Observability systems must measure vital SLA metrics, such as network and application latency and uplink/downlink throughput. In addition, responses to service disruptions should be automated using technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify trouble spots, guide responses, and automatically respond to routine network outages.
Slice off new service offerings for enterprises and subscribers
For CSPs. network slicing provides the utmost flexibility in network resource allocation, allowing operators to prepare for short-term large-scale events such as concerts or sporting events. They enable this by temporarily allocating the extensive network resources required to ensure a smooth event for hosts, participants, and viewers, and then removing the slice once the event is over. The benefits of network slicing extend far beyond entertainment and can be extended to enterprise use cases.
A defined, high-reliability network slice can support robotic devices in both manufacturing and medicine, where the operator and the robot are located in separate locations. Additionally, network slicing also enables customized service level agreements (SLAs), allowing operators to provide enterprise clients with customized security and automation processes and services.
Network slicing is ideal for organizations that want to develop secure automated procedures for business and operational technology delivery that is faster and more secure.
You can’t be what you can’t see
In order to be recognized as world-class providers of seamless and reliably superior 5G offerings, operators must be able to see all of their networks, and this includes network slices. As we all know, 5G is fundamentally different from 4G technology. Therefore, a transition from 4G to 5G not only increases the size of the network but also increases its complexity.
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