Network slicing is a new network architecture that offers multiple logical networks on a shared network infrastructure. Each network slice can flexibly define its SLA requirements, logical topology, reliability, and security level to fulfill the differentiated requirements of different industries, services, or users. Network slicing reduces the cost of constructing multiple private networks and provides highly flexible network services that can be distributed based on demand generated by service requirements. This has improved the network value and monetization capability of carriers and facilitates the digital transformation of various industries. Network slicing helps to support diverse and extreme requirements for latency, capacity, and availability. It created end-to-end logical networks that offered isolated properties and operated independently. Network slicing is believed to be the key feature of 5G systems. Network slicing creates virtual private 5G networks that have flexibility, scalability, and security, which provide opportunities to a wide range of industries. Now, it is possible for service providers to look beyond the consumer market and manage the 5G networks for new enterprise customers. The network slicing market growth is estimated to be around USD 200 billion by 2030 with a strong CAGR (Source: total global digitalization revenues).
Benefits of 5G Network Slicing
- Resource and Security Isolation.
- A single network is used to offer various services based on the requirement of the user and various use cases.
- It helps in reducing the cost involved in OPEX and CAPEX.
- It helps deliver 5G network services by improving operational efficiency.
- It helps operators to overcome all the drawbacks of “DiffServ,” which is known as the most popular QoS solution.
- It helps in providing effective and efficient utilization of resources. One network slice is designed to deliver low latency and low data rate, while another network slice is configured to deliver high throughput.
- Network slicing deploys.
Network Slicing vs a Private Dedicated 5G Network
Recently there has been much discussion about network slicing vs. a private network. However, it has been analyzed that network slicing is highly potential for cost and wide area network. Network slicing doesn’t require any high investments for equipment on-premises, and through slicing, it is possible to extend the usage outside the campus. For example- tracking goods or automotive use cases.
In today’s era, every company or enterprise has some type of private network on the premise, mainly Ethernet LAN and Wi-Fi. More than 60 percent of enterprises are planning to use a 5G private network of some sort. However, one does not exclude the other, and some 50 percent of enterprises will use 5G on-premises and as a private network slice.
Top Industries for Network Slicing
The addressable opportunity for CSPs with network slicing is USD 200 billion. The top 6 industries account for more than 80 percent of the revenue potential. Healthcare is the largest industry, followed by transportation and government. According to Ericsson, the compound annual growth rate for the top industries ranges from 23-46 percent during 2025 – 2030, which is substantial.
Moreover, the healthcare sector is expected to dominate the overall market growth. In a report published by Ericsson, it was estimated that around USD 76 billion in revenue will be generated by healthcare transformation by the end of 2026. Network slicing will generate many new approaches in the healthcare industry in terms of imaging & diagnostic technology, medical data management, and data analytics. For example- experts are making efforts to arrange remote robotic surgeries using virtual reality through customized 5G network slicing. According to the European telecommunications network operator’s association in the healthcare sector, the number of IoT connections will reach 10.34 billion by 2025.
- Aarna Networks announced a new software product, Aarna Networks Multi Cluster Orchestration Platform 2.0 (AMCOP), that offers zero-touch 5G solutions for B2B use cases. The new product performs orchestration, lifecycle management, and real-time policy-driven control loop automation and features a brand new end-to-end 5G network slicing manager.
- Affirmed Networks introduced the Affirmed Virtual Slice Selection Function (vSSF), enabling fine-grained network slicing across legacy, virtualized, and multi-vendor network environments. The Affirmed vSSF also supports a fine-grained selection of network resources for 5G networks delivering operators a "5G Ready" solution now.
- Amdocs Launches 5G Slice Manager for Automation of 5G Network Slicing.
- Ericsson, Deutsche Telekom, and Samsung successfully completed the world’s first 5G end-to-end (E2E) network slicing trial, carried out at Deutsche Telekom’s Bonn lab on a Samsung S21 commercial device tethered to a VR headset.
- Intel and Airtel in Collaboration for 5G technology and Network Slicing in India.
- Anritsu, in Collaboration with Qualcomm, Verifies Industry-First Enhanced Network Slicing and Power Saving Tests for 5G New Radio Standalone.
- DISH wireless and Oracle in Collaboration for developments in 5G core-based architecture.
- Ribbon Introduces Hybrid Slicing for 5G Networks Using Xilinx Virtex Ultrascale+ Technology.
- SK Telecom launched network slicing technology for commercial 5G networks.
- Taiwanese operator Far EasTone (FET) and Ericsson announced they had completed the world’s first proof of concept (PoC) for simultaneously connecting multiple network slices per device running on the Android 12 commercial release.
- Ericsson has launched a commercial 5G network slicing product for radio access networks (RAN).
Top Vendors in the Network Slicing Market
- Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson SE
Ericsson is a multinational networking and telecommunications company. It is a leader in 4G and 5G mobile technologies and provides network support. The company provides network slicing products. Its portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure; telecom services; broadband & multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises, & the media industry. The company is located in various geographical locations such as North America, Europe, MEA, Southeast Asia, etc.
- Nokia Corporation
It is a multinational company engaged in the manufacturing of mobile devices, network infrastructure, and advanced technology businesses globally. It provides Automated Network Slicing. The company’s automation capabilities offer organizations an unmatched solution to deploy network slices in less time. The company introduces new network management, controller, and orchestration capabilities to its solution. For instance, Nokia, in collaboration with Orange, deploy the first Industry 4.0 4G/5G private network with network slicing in the Schneider Electric factory in France. The company has a presence in North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and MEA.
- Cisco Systems
Cisco provides a network slice orchestration solution that is built using slicing-enabled components which can span the whole service chain. Cisco’s network slicing solution is built on a cross-work network automation suite in combination with Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) product. Cisco Crosswork and NSO, in alignment with the 3GPP structure, can manage the 5G environment domains such as transport network slicing, core network slicing, and unifying slice control with NSO. The company has its geographical presence in America, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific.
- ZTE Corporation
The company provides a 5G E2E network slicing solution to support industries undergoing digital transformation. It allows the resource of a physical network to be flexibly allocated into multiple virtualized network slices to fulfill the requirements of different industrial services, such as industrial control, automatic driving, intelligent power grid, and remote medical treatment. The advantages offered by its network slicing solution are- distributed and automatic deployment, multi-level isolation, agile design, slice mall for NaaS, and smart assurance. The company has its presence across Europe, the Americas, Oceania, and Africa.
- Huawei Technologies
Huawei Technologies offers a 5G network slicing solution; the company, with other industry partners, jointly established the first 5G Network Slicing Innovation Open Lab. The main aim of the lab is to unite all aspects of the network slicing industry and perform long-term verification of technical innovation for various industry partners. Huawei is planning to collaborate with 5GSA to invite industry partners to join the alliance. The company has its geographical presence across EMEA, China, APAC, and America.
- Affirmed Networks
The company offers Affirmed Virtual Slice Selection Function (vSSF) that provides fine-grained network slicing across virtualized and multi-vendor environments. Affirmed’s network slicing has a centralized function to steer traffic to specific gateways without making any configuration changes to other network elements. It reduces time-to-market and operational costs by 90%. By using Affirmed Virtual Probe, operators receive real-time analytics on individual slices and services, which helps them to improve their service quality and reduce network support costs. The company was acquired by Microsoft in 2020 for USD 1.35 billion. Since then, it has been operating under the intelligent cloud segment of Microsoft.
- Mavenir Systems Inc.
Mavenir is a telecommunication software company focusing on accelerating the software network transformation and redefining network economies for 250+ communication service providers in more than 100+ countries. It provides a cloud range network slice suite that provides end-to-end network slicing for radio, core, and application in 4G and 5G networks. The company has successfully innovated the dynamic network slicing through TM Forum Catalyst Ecosoft eHealth Program.
Amdocs provides 5G Slice Manager, AMDOCS Network Orchestration, AMDOCS Network Exposure Function, and AMDOCS Network Data Analytics Function. The 5G Slice Manager helps service providers tackle operation challenges through business and customer-centric segmentation. It helps the operators to achieve operational efficiencies and optimized ROI. Amdocs Network Orchestration provides various benefits such as-
- Unified multi-domain orchestration
- Increased operation efficiency
- Increases the business agility by reducing innovative barriers
- Open and vendor-neutral approach
Network Slicing Market Ecosystem
Industry 4.0, automation, and digital transformation have changed the adoption of mission-critical business applications in every type of business. To cope with the growing demand of customers and organizations for operational agility, most sectors are making efforts to transform their digital platforms. Advancements in technology and the evolving ecosystem have paved the way for the emergence of new business applications across different industries.
Despite the various benefits of network slicing, there are still some challenges that are faced by operators and developers. E2E network slicing is implemented in the radio access network (RAN), and these RAN must go through redesigning the process to accommodate network slicing. Although progress towards standardization continues, full industry consensus on network slicing deployment on 5G networks with other architectural elements remains ambiguous. Adding multiple networks over the same physical infrastructure creates much stress for operators. There is a difficulty in maintaining SLA, QoS, and security assurance for each slice, and managing the spectrum slicing and allocation for highly dynamic scenarios is one of the common challenges in the market.
The market growth for network slicing is estimated to be around USD 200 billion by 2030 with a strong CAGR (Source: total global digitalization revenues).
Steps in the Lifecycle of Network Slice
Four steps are involved in the lifecycle of a network slice- preparation, commissioning, operation, and decommissioning.
- Preparation: This step involves the evaluation of network slice requirements. Design and select a slice topology. Create a network slice template.
- Commission: It involves the creation of Network Slice Instance (NSI) and the Network Slice Subnet Instance (NSSI) that helps manage slice requirements.
- Operation: This step involves NSI/NSSI activation, required modifications, and deactivation
- Decommission: Terminates the instances whenever possible.
How to Slice the Network? While Evaluating Certain Policies and Criteria
- Calculate deployment location for IT application components to deliver required performance or cost.
- Calculate optimal 5G topologies required to route and breakout traffic to IT locations
- Calculate overlay/ network topology to support 5G functions and calculate the path for control and user plane traffic
- Calculate infrastructure and network requirements across the network
- Perform feasibility based on predicted compute, storage, and network impact and current utilization
About the Author
Akansha Malik is a Market Research Analyst at Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence LLC. Akansha works with various qualitative analysis tools to understand and analyze the current and future market dynamics of the target market. Her expertise lies in Mining large data sets, Primary or Secondary Research, and Market assessment to supply current market information to administrative personnel regarding decision-making and implementation. She is passionate about supporting the IT and Telecom sector to flourish and be useful in making a more digital, better working world. Through her qualitative research, she helps her clients to achieve excellent performance. To read more informative articles and white papers from her and for more information regarding the global market scenario, visit www.knowledge-sourcing.com.