Nokia and Proximus Deploy 5G Network Slicing Innovation

Proximus booth

Through the application of radio software-defined networking and radio resource allocation technologies, Proximus and Nokia claim to have successfully improved the performance of 5G network slicing in challenging network situations.

Real-world applications were utilized in a live trial at Proximus’ 5G Innovation Lab in Brussels to show how a consistent client experience can be guaranteed in crowded network situations. A wide range of use cases, including Industry 4.0, IoT, enterprise applications, public safety, drone inspection, virtual and augmented reality, and cloud gaming, would benefit from the new 5G RAN slicing feature.

The test was conducted utilizing Nokia’s 5G AirScale base station and 50 MHz of spectrum in the 3600 MHz band on the Proximus 5G innovation platform. It enabled the real-time management of slices and network performance by combining new enhanced RAN slicing functionalities in the base station with radio software-defined networking (SDN) technologies. On three end-to-end slices with 60, 30, and 10 percent of the available bandwidth resources each, three devices were set up. When linked separately, each device used its full bandwidth, and when connected simultaneously, it used its full capacity.

For slices with time-sensitive applications, the successful trial assigned particular radio resources together with additional radio capabilities to reduce latency. It also highlighted the control and dynamic adaptation of slice characteristics, specifically the radio resources per slice, by the operator.

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

4G/5G Network Slicing

For both 5G NSA and SA traffic, Nokia’s slice-aware radio resource allocation can be used. It also provides smooth continuity across 4G and 5G networks, adding to the features currently present in LTE. Real-time management of RAN resources, schedulers, quality of service, security, traffic isolation, and routing are made possible by radio software-defined networking, which is especially important when customizing a slice to the needs of particular business applications or use cases. It is applicable for edge slicing and 4G/5G slicing.

Nokia is a global provider of 4G/5G network slicing and was one of the first to show management and assurance for 4G/5G network slicing across RAN-Transport-Core. All LTE, 5G NSA, and 5G SA devices are supported by Nokia’s network slicing solution, allowing mobile operators to take advantage of a vast ecosystem of devices and offer slice continuity over 4G and 5G.

“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,” said Geert Standaert, Network & Wholesale Lead et Proximus. “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.”