Network Slicing: Get Your Piece of the Pie, Ensure Return on Investment (ROI)

Colorful Network Highway Display

Prioritizing and differentiating network traffic based on critical business use cases and consumer services is a powerful benefit 5G networks deliver via network slicing. 4G networks do not have the full capability to handle this level of traffic transaction.

Network slicing transcends both public networks and private 5G networks and is a game changer for communications service providers (CSPs) in terms of generating potential new revenue as they evolve their networks.  

What Network Slicing Does
Network slicing allows CSPs to optimize and prioritize traffic for specific use cases in support of requirements such as low latency, high reliability, and security. Network slicing by automated design offers leverage with the flexibility to launch a variety of services at scale for enterprises and consumer use cases such as gaming, remote surgery, and autonomous vehicles, using service level agreements (SLAs) and subscriptions to generate revenues.


Half Pie Shape Network Slicing diagram with cell tower in middle
Figure 1: Network Slicing example use cases


Network Slicing and Potential Revenue
The future looks bright in terms of potential revenue. According to market research, network slicing is expected to generate $300 billion dollars for CSPs by 2025. CSPs adopting network slicing can certainly offset the significant cost of incurring and building their high-speed 5G networks by taking advantage of this technology.

5G networks are more pervasive and not the same as 4G, and this reality brings a fundamental shift in the telecommunications industry. Network activities are more challenging with 5G, which makes observability of north-south and east-west traffic very complex. End-through-end visibility—from radio access network (RAN) to the core to the data center edge—must scale to meet the new demand for actionable insight from a faster 5G network.

Visibility Everywhere and Anywhere
There are many complexities with the new network environment. However, CSPs need to consider the impact network slicing is projected to have on revenue and the importance of having end-through-end visibility to verify performance throughout the 5G life cycle. The four key areas below can ensure continuous innovation as CSPs implement network slicing in their 5G networks.

  • Disaggregated architecture: With their disaggregated architecture, 5G networks are compelling a new monitoring cadence for network and application performance. Assuring service and reliability requires the discovery of new patterns and behaviors from the network.
  • Cloud-native environment: As CSPs continue to work through phases of virtualization to get to a pure cloud-native environment, they are finding ways to make their organizations cloud-centric by upskilling existing talent to ensure the management of orchestrating and maintaining workloads in the cloud. This means working in-house to achieve the knowledge and ownership required to build a cloud-centric network versus handing these activities over to hyperscalers. It is important for CSPs to be seen in roles beyond connectivity experts on their cloud journey.
  • Diverse partnerships: Next-generation 5G networks demand collaboration and partnerships. The 5G arena hosts multiple vendor solutions and partnerships with hyperscalers, system integrators, and service providers. Ensuring effective partnerships will solidify relationships and drive long-term sustainability and success.
  • Managing SLAs: Visibility into every slice along with proactive management will provide insights into SLA compliance and ensure proper billing outcomes for all launched services within any slice. 

For optimum customer experience, CSPs must consider observability at the onset of planning. NETSCOUT visibility solutions can give CSPs the confidence to innovate. Our solution is vendor-agnostic, and our Visibility Without Borders approach works with any cloud, any network, any service, and any technology. NETSCOUT Smart Data insights are based on universally available packets, which are 3GPP-compliant and support multigenerational networks in an independent and open manner—physical, hybrid, and cloud.

Read more about 5G network slicing advantages and challenges in the full article in Forbes. 

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