Network slicing technology will allow operators to support technologies including robotics, IoT and industrial automation without incurring huge costs, Ericsson’s Head of Architecture and Solutions Jan Haglund believes.
In an interview with Mobile World Live, Haglund highlighted the potential of the new network management technique to accelerate the deployment of new services operators will be expected to support with the advent of 5G.
Network slicing enables several operations with different requirements to be hosted on one physical infrastructure platform by segmenting available resources.
Ericsson is set to commercially introduce its network slicing solution in 2018, sold partly as a tool to help operators expand into new segments on the launch of 5G, although it can also be applied to 4G architecture.
Haglund said if operators continue to operate their existing network models without segmentation there is a risk some players will be hampered in their abilities to quickly support new innovations.
“If you stay in the current model there is a risk you become too slow and you may miss some of those smaller opportunities you want to grab,” he said. “If you use network slicing you can test the market and scale as that market grows. It provides more flexibility.”
“There is a big market that needs to be explored,” he added. “You need to be fast introducing new services and you need to do that with minimum expense. You also need to run networks in a way that doesn’t need a lot of manpower so automation becomes very important.”
“It lowers the threshold for new opportunities, you don’t have to build a new network for everything you provide if you do it logically through software.”
Haglund’s comments come as the vendor unveils a joint study with UK incumbent BT highlighting the economic benefits of network slicing.
It found the operator could potentially achieve a 35 per cent boost in revenue potential, based on 40 new services being deployed over one core network, with a 40 per cent fall in OPEX compared with using traditional network management techniques.