Dialogic Blog

Network Slicing – An A La Carte Network Service in 5G?

by Jim Machi

Oct 17, 2017 9:16:00 AM

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I’ve been meaning to write about network slicing for a while.  When 5G was first being written about, network slicing was one of many hot topics about 5G. 5G, after all, is going to solve every potential mobile cellular issue we’ve ever come across. At least it seems that way.  And network slicing represented a certain nirvana.  By the way, 5G will be THE ANSWER until 5G specs are done, and it starts to get deployed, and then the hype will start for 6G.  And then we’ll have a new answer. Until then, let’s talk about how great 5G is.

So, what is network slicing? It sounds cool – let’s slice and dice the network.  Network slicing is the ability to create specialized logical networks that would meet specific requirements.  It uses the same physical network infrastructure, but since 5G is highly software-based, logical networks can be created.

It’s basically a Network as a Service.  And it is most often associated with a vertical industry.  For instance, if a specific industry has some requirements about not needing super low latency, has short burst-y data flow, and needs to support specific API interfaces, then a logical network for that might be able to be set up.  Maybe an IoT network dedicated to sensor updates, for example.  Or there might be a guaranteed performance type of slice. 

In the 5G world, if 5G turns out to be all it can be, then we will see network sliced type of networks.  We’ll just have to see how long it will take before any of us our using it.

Topics: 3G, 4G, 5G, and WiFi