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Nokia and Proximus deliver 5G network slicing innovation

Nokia and Proximus announced that they have successfully enhanced the performance of 5G network slicing in demanding network conditions through the use of radio software-defined networking and radio resource allocation technologies. During a live trial at Proximus’ 5G Innovation Lab in Brussels, real-life applications were used to demonstrate how a consistent customer experience can be ensured under congested network conditions. New 5G RAN slicing functionality brings benefits to a wide range of use cases such as Industry 4.0, IoT and enterprise applications such as public safety and drone inspection as well as virtual and augmented reality and cloud gaming. The solution is available now for trials and will be commercially available in Q3 for 5G standalone.

The trial was performed on the Proximus 5G innovation platform using 50Mhz of spectrum in the 3600MHz band based on Nokia’s 5G AirScale base station. It combined new advanced RAN slicing functionalities in the base station with radio software-defined networking (SDN) technology to enable the real-time management of slices and network performance. Three devices were configured on three end-to-end slices configured respectively with 60, 30, and 10 percent of available bandwidth resources. Each device reached the maximum bandwidth when connected individually and reached the assigned capacity when connected simultaneously.

The successful trial assigned specific radio resources per slice which were complemented with further radio capabilities to reduce latency for slices with time-sensitive applications. It also highlighted how an operator can control and dynamically adapt slice parameters in general and in particular set the radio resources per slice. Radio resource allocation technologies can be used in a radio network shared between multiple operators.

Nokia’s slice-aware radio resource allocation can be applied for 5G SA slices and 5G NSA traffic. It also complements the capabilities already available in LTE providing seamless continuity between 4G and 5G networks. Radio software-defined networking enables real-time management of RAN resources, schedulers, quality of service, security, traffic isolation, and routing required especially to customize a slice to the specific need of the business applications and/or use case. It can be applied for 4G/5G slicing and edge slicing.

Nokia is the industry leader in 4G/5G network slicing and was the first to demonstrate 4G/5G network slicing across RAN-Transport-Core with management and assurance. Nokia’s network slicing solution supports all LTE, 5G NSA, and 5G SA devices, enabling mobile operators to utilize a huge device ecosystem and provide slice continuity over 4G and 5G.

Several live network deployments and trials have already taken place with Nokia’s global customer base including deployments of new slicing capabilities such as edge slicing in Virtual Private Networks, LTE-NSA-SA end-to-end network slicing, Fixed Wireless Access slicing, Sliced Private Wireless as well as Slice Management Automation and Orchestration.

Proximus delivers a quality mobile network and nationwide mobile coverage to its customers in Belgium. This trial supports the company’s ambition to be a leading mobile network innovator. In addition to its comprehensive expertise as a leading 5G player in Belgium, Proximus offers additional support, together with its affiliates, in complementary fields ranging from security and intelligent cloud solutions to artificial intelligence and IoT.

Geert Standaert, CTO, Proximus, said: “We are delighted to have completed this network slicing trial with Nokia which will support our customers with enhanced network slicing capabilities that will keep key services running smoothly even at demanding or busy times. Our advanced 5G network supports our customers’ business by enabling new kinds of services and making the network more efficient. We will continue to develop innovations and the latest applications, as our mission is to bring the opportunities of 5G to our customers.”

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: “This trial with our partner, Proximus, is the latest development in our pioneering network slicing story. We have focused on delivering a consistent slice-specific customer experience that performs under any circumstances or network conditions. We have achieved another key milestone with this project and delivered innovative new functionality that helps our customers create compelling new services.”

CT Bureau

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