Nokia has piloted its 4G and 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network slicing with mobile operator Safaricom on its live commercial network in Kenya’s Western Region in Africa. The trial utilized a multi-vendor network environment and included RAN, transport and core as well as software upgrades to a range of Nokia’s products and services.
The trial demonstrates that Safaricom is poised to support new types of enterprise network services, including fast lane internet access and application slicing. In addition, Nokia is enabling secured FWA slice connectivity to enterprise locations, as well as to private or public application clouds.
The multi-vendor pilot demonstrated a number of solutions including Nokia’s AirScale 4G/5G base stations, the NetAct network management and assurance system and Nokia’s FastMile 4G/5G CPE.
Network slicing enables operators the ability to divide a network into multiple virtual slices, which can be optimized for a specific target application or service. The end user of each network slice can then be serviced with different priorities, routing, levels of network performance and security capabilities. Slices can be managed and deployed in minutes, and each one has key performance indicators used for service assurance.
Nokia’s 4G/5G slicing solution, which received a award from GTI 2021 in the Innovative Breakthrough in Mobile Technology category, supports LTE, 5G NSA and 5G SA technologies with slice service continuity between the networks. This enables slicing services for all LTE and 5G devices.
James Maitai, Network Director, Safaricom, said: “We have hosted Africa’s first pilot of 4G/5G FWA slicing on our network, and looking forward to tailoring our service offerings to individual customers and industries, to meet their needs for high-speed connectivity precisely and without unnecessary cost.”