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Private 5G, Network Slicing, and Virtual Networks

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[Generic 5G Network Slicing Framework - Wikipedia]


- Overview

Network slicing is the operators’ best answer on how to build and manage a network, that meets and exceeds the emerging requirements from a wide range of enterprises. The way to achieve a sliced network is to transform it into a set of logical networks on top of a shared infrastructure. 

Each logical network is designed to serve a defined business purpose and comprises of all the required network resources, configured and connected end-to-end. 


- 5G Network Slicing Architecture

Network slicing overlays multiple virtual networks on top of a shared network domain, a shared set of network and computing resources. Network slicing is most often used to discuss 5G networks, in part because the 5G specification requires network slicing as an essential feature, while 4G and previous generations of cellular data services do not and cannot support network slicing.

5G network slicing is a network architecture that enables the multiplexing of virtualized and independent logical networks on the same physical network infrastructure. Each network slice is an isolated end-to-end network tailored to fulfill diverse requirements requested by a particular application. 

Each part of the network can have its own logical topology, security rules, and performance characteristics—within the constraints imposed by the underlying physical network. 

Different slices can be dedicated to different purposes, such as ensuring priority access to capacity and delivery for specific applications or services, or isolating traffic for specific classes of users or devices. 

Slicing networks enables network operators to maximize network resources and service flexibility.

Please refer to the following for more details:


- 5G Network Slicing Technology

5G network slicing is a network architecture that enables the multiplexing of virtualized and independent logical networks on the same physical network infrastructure. Each network slice is an isolated end-to-end network tailored to fulfil diverse requirements requested by a particular application.

Network slicing can be defined as a network configuration that allows the creation of multiple networks (virtualized and independent) on top of a common physical infrastructure. This configuration has become an important part of the overall 5G architectural landscape. Each "slice" or portion of the network can be allocated based on application, use case, or customer-specific needs.

While services such as smart parking meters value high reliability and safety, they are more forgiving in terms of latency, while others, such as self-driving cars, may require ultra-low latency (URLLC) and high data speeds. Network slicing in 5G supports these diverse services and facilitates efficient reallocation of resources from one virtual network slice to another.

5G-enabled or enhanced applications require greater bandwidth, more connections, and lower latency than previous generations. Each use case has its own unique performance requirements, making a one-size-fits-all approach to service delivery obsolete.


- Private 5G Networks

Mobile network technologies such as 4G LTE and 5G enhance existing networks with higher bandwidth, lower latency, and reliable long-range coverage for an increasing number of devices. With Private 5G, you can build a private mobile network to take advantage of the technical advantages of 4G LTE or 5G, while maintaining the security, granular application and device control of a private network.

Private 5G networks are non-public mobile networks that can use licensed, unlicensed or shared spectrum. Private 5G networks are designed to enhance existing capabilities and introduce new possibilities not supported by other systems.

Private 5G is a wireless network technology that provides cellular connectivity for private network use cases such as private businesses, third-party providers, and municipalities. Private 5G is an alternative to Wi-Fi and other wireless options such as public Long Term Evolution (LTE) and public 5G.

Private 5G Network-as-a-Service is an alternative to buying, building and managing a private mobile network. It can lower barriers to entry for businesses and industries by reducing initial costs and offloading construction and day-to-day management, so organizations can focus on core business initiatives. 


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[Central Park, New York City - Civil Engineering Discoveries]

- 5G Virtual Networks

A Virtual Network Function (VNF) replaces network hardware with software that can be changed and scaled to meet burgeoning 5G demands. VNFs are network services running as software processes on off-the-shelf server hardware. They replace dedicated hardware devices. 

By virtualizing essential network functions (NFs) that were previously the domain of dedicated hardware appliances, operators can deploy new services, enhance security and tailor network performance at scale using software alone. NFs are the actual implementation of network functions as software processes. 

Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI) is an architecture or framework for implementing VNFs on a wide scale. NFVI is a fundamental concept of data center operation which is essential to the creation, deployment, and effective scale of new 5G services. 

NFVI enables 5G network slicing, allowing various virtual networks to run on top of a single, physical infrastructure. This enables operators to divide a physical network into virtual networks capable of supporting multiple radio access networks (RANs). 

It can optimize resource provisioning of the VNFs for price and energy, scale VNFs and ensure VNFs consistently operate properly.

Please refer to the following for more details:


- Private Networks vs. Network Slicing

A private network is a dedicated network that's only used by authorized devices. Private networks are more secure than public networks, and often have firewalls and intrusion prevention systems. Private networks are typically used for security and bandwidth purposes. 

Network slicing is a telecommunications configuration that allows multiple networks to be created on top of a common physical infrastructure. Each portion of the network, or "slice", can be allocated based on the specific needs of the application, use case, or customer. 

Here are some differences between private networks and network slicing:

  • Technology readiness: Dedicated private networks can be deployed using current technologies (LTE or 5G). Network slicing is still nascent, with deployments with static network slices emerging slowly.
  • Security: Private networks are more secure than public networks.
  • Private 5G: A private 5G network is a mobile network that functions similarly to a public 5G network, but allows the owner to provide restricted access.
  • Network slicing: Network slicing allows organizations to accommodate different application requirements for security, reliability, and performance on the same network.



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