Nokia has launched what it says is a fully open and programmable network slicing solution for fixed access networks.
Nokia says the fixed network slicing solution enables operators to not only execute service level slicing, but also scale to a virtually unlimited number of discrete network slices that can be independently operated – for example, to run 5G mobile transport, wholesale or business services.
The new solution is built around Nokia’s cloud-native software platform Altiplano and open standards. It allows operators to establish full control and autonomy for each slice they manage, plus determine the performance metrics for the network and services they deliver to customers.
Software defined access networks (SDAN) enable fixed access networks to be partitioned into virtual slices so operators can deliver new services and connect more users, segments and entities that would otherwise require parallel networks.
Nokia’s programmable slicing solution uses open interfaces and YANG data models to create a virtual slice that looks, feels and operates just like a physical network. Each service provider runs its own dedicated controller with a dedicated view of their slice of the network.
This provides operators with the control and flexibility to deliver differentiated broadband services in a multi-vendor network environment. Equipment from different vendors can sit alongside each other, in different slices or on the same slice. The solution also makes it easier to share the physical network by enabling operators to automate challenging process such as rules, regulations and multi-vendor integration, Nokia says.
The solution also promises to help services providers move toward a fully autonomous network as a service (NaaS) model, allowing them to:
- Converge internal organizations and attract co-investment partners to improve capital efficiency and accelerate time-to-market
- Quickly develop new strategies and create service offerings that better monetize their access networks
- Enter a new business area, such as vertical markets and enterprise services, which can be served from the same access infrastructure as residential customers
- Accelerate 5G deployments by configuring a slice to meet the SLA requirements for 5G backhaul and fronthaul, negating the need for a dedicated backhaul/fronthaul network.
- Optimize multi-operator vectoring for G.fast deployments in a fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) environment.
“Operators are rethinking how they build, operate and monetize their high-speed broadband infrastructure. Fixed access slicing has the potential to change the game – not just for enhancing existing business models but also to help some deliver, better, lower cost services than what was previously possible,” said Benoit Felten, chief research officer at Diffraction Analysis. “I believe that adoption of fixed network slicing will rapidly change the landscape in the fixed broadband market, and those who are late to join will undoubtedly suffer.”
Federico Guillen, president of Nokia Fixed Networks, said that virtual network slicing will form the basis for everything the fixed access industry does going forward.
“It can provide a more elegant and powerful way to monetize ultra-broadband deployments, help accelerate the delivery of new services, spread investment risk, reduce complexity and unlock new business opportunities that allow service providers to better serve their end-customers,” Guillen said.