Nokia launches ‘world-first’ 4G, 5G automation network slicing solution

Nokia touts the “extreme automation” capabilities of the new solution.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Nokia has introduced a "world-first" 4G and 5G automation network slicing solution suitable for vendors seeking to cut the costs associated with increasing networking capacity. 

The networking equipment provider said on Thursday that the new network slicing system leverages Nokia's end-to-end slicing network functionality for 4G and 5G New Radio (NR), first announced in February, which has been designed for applications running in both public and private clouds. 

In addition, the system utilizes Nokia's cloud-native Digital Operations Center software, a modular offering which "provides a secure and fully automated process to design, deploy and operate network slices at scale across multi-vendor, multi-domain and multi-technology environments."

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The mobile networking solution has now been bolstered with automation capabilities, a feature Nokia says extends the capabilities of existing network slicing products and "offers operators an unmatched solution to deploy network slices within minutes instead of hours or days."

Nokia claims that the products, now improved with an "extreme automation" backbone, now allows communication service providers (CSPs) to reduce their operational costs and quickly deploy new network slicing to match the rising demand for high-speed mobile services, a potentially tantalizing prospect with the rollout of 5G. 

The new 4G and 5G slicing system complies with 3GPP and IETF slicing specifications and is compatible with Nokia's NetAct and SON/Self-Organizing Networks and Network Services Platform/NSP. 

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Engineers have also included a new network management tool and controller suitable for radio, transport, and core domains. 

Vendors will be able to create, modify, and delete large swathes of slices in real-time and create different customer policies and profiles depending on clients -- whether they are SMBs or large enterprise players. 

According to the company, the new automation facilities, controllers, and assurance tools simplify network functions at the service layer by automatically sending instructions to domain controllers through open APIs. Each domain controller then determines how best to manage network slicing and will embed assurance monitors for analyzing performance. In addition, closed-loop optimization is implemented. 

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The first deliveries of the new solution are planned for the end of 2020.

"Nokia is the first vendor to provide slicing in LTE and 5G networks in a multivendor network environment," commented Sasa Nijemcevic, Head of Network Automation for Nokia's IP/Optical Networks unit. "By adding extreme automation capabilities, we are offering operators a single, modular solution that helps them deliver a new wealth of services at unprecedented speeds."

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