AT&T, Verizon gear up for 5G network slicing in 2020, 2021
Monica Alleven | January 21, 2019
Network slicing is one of those things 5G industry experts often cite when they’re describing the benefits of a 5G world.At its most basic, network slicing provides for a more efficient use of the network. Instead of allocating on a serialized basis, operators can do things in parallel by allocating network resources and applying certain quality of service (QoS) elements to them. Services could be priced based on the quality or performance that a business needs; even a traditional MVNO could be structured based on slice agreements.With network slicing and 5G, the idea is for operators’ business customers to get connectivity and data processing tailored to their specific requirements—latency and/or speed, for example. The GSMA estimates (PDF) that in combination with other enablers and capabilities, network slicing will permit operators to address a revenue opportunity worth $300 billion by 2025. Although often mentioned in the same realm as 5G, network slicing isn’t entirely unheard of in the LTE environment. The original target for network slicing, which came at the beginning of the 5G Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) specification, highlighted slicing as an inherent part of 5G, but it's actually been around for years and came out of the original VPN concept, according to Sue Rudd, director of networks and service platforms at Strategy Analytics, who recently participated in a FierceMarkets webinar on the topic.