But as we approach 2021, MNOs will begin deploying standalone 5G networks that don’t rely on 4G; which will introduce the sub-5 millisecond latencies and huge device densities that 5G is famous for.
Not only that, it’ll enable another game changing feature that makes 5G unrivalled at flexibility and scalability: network slicing.
What is 5G network slicing?
Each slice becomes a virtual 5G network in and of itself; meaning you can use it to provide customers with networks-as-a-service (NaaS).
How does 5G network slicing work?
Right now, data is sold purely on a per-gigabyte basis. But with 5G network slicing, you’ll be able to sell the same data with specific parameters, like guaranteed low latencies or high speeds.
While this capability does exist with 4G networks, it’s not viable because it requires very technical custom engineering.
5G not only makes it possible, but effortless. You can effortlessly set up network slices as virtual 5G networks that fulfil the specific requirements of your users.
Or a customer, for example, could go to an operator’s website, pick out exactly what latency, bandwidth, and quality-of-service they need, and choose how long they need it for—essentially designing their own network slice with the perfect toppings for their solution.
What kind of solutions will benefit from 5G network slicing?
From HVAC systems and digital twinning to robotics and smart safety gear, thousands of devices will need to talk to each other at the same time; and while they aren’t transmitting big chunks of data, any delays could cause production mishaps. So they’d go for a network slice with low latencies for near-instant communications, and high device density to cover all their IoT devices.
On the other hand, a hospital running telemedicine solutions might not need that many devices, but would require huge amounts of data for transferring patient records and hosting video calls; as well as low latency to make sure their vital work goes uninterrupted.
Or for a car manufacturer that needs to upgrade their cars’ firmware once or twice a year, they’d need really high bandwidth to rollout the updates, but only for a short period of time. The manufacturer could set up a network slice that only lasts as long as the rollout takes to complete, saving loads in revenue.
Of course, network operators benefit in all these cases. With its ease and flexibility, network slicing will massively reduce the operating costs of 5G networks as operators save precious network resources.
How can partners take advantage of 5G network slicing?
It’ll be commercially available once standalone 5G becomes available, which will begin rolling out next year.
And when that happens, it’ll be a catalyst for the Channel; enabling partners to sell targeted connectivity for specific industries and use cases.
Take this chance to get up to speed with 5G and gear up with the right 5G devices, so that when network slicing hits the market you can capitalise on it before the competition!