Proximus enhances 5G network slicing using radio software-defined networking

Nokia and Proximus have enhanced the performance of 5G network slicing through the use of radio software-defined networking and radio resource allocation technologies.
Geert Standaert, CTO of ProximusProximus, during a live trial at Proximus’ 5G Innovation Lab in Brussels, used real-life applications to ensure consistent customer experience under congested network conditions.

New 5G RAN slicing solution is available now for trials and will be commercially available in Q3 for 5G standalone.

Proximus conducted the trial on the Proximus 5G innovation platform using 50Mhz of spectrum in the 3600MHz band based on Nokia’s 5G AirScale base station. Proximus combined new advanced RAN slicing functionalities in the base station with radio software-defined networking (SDN) technology to enable the real-time management of slices and network performance.

Proximus engineers configured three devices on three end-to-end slices configured respectively with 60, 30, and 10 percent of available bandwidth resources. Nokia in a news statement said each device reached the maximum bandwidth when connected individually and reached the assigned capacity when connected simultaneously.

Geert Standaert, CTO of Proximus, said: “Our advanced 5G network supports our customers’ business by enabling new kinds of services and making the network more efficient.”

The trial assigned specific radio resources per slice which were complemented with further radio capabilities to reduce latency for slices with time-sensitive applications. It highlighted how an operator can control and dynamically adapt slice parameters in general and in particular set the radio resources per slice. Radio resource allocation technologies can be used in a radio network shared between multiple operators.

Nokia’s slice-aware radio resource allocation can be applied for 5G SA slices and 5G NSA traffic. It also complements the capabilities already available in LTE providing seamless continuity between 4G and 5G networks.

Nokia said radio software-defined networking enables real-time management of RAN resources, schedulers, quality of service, security, traffic isolation, and routing required especially to customize a slice to the specific need of the business applications and/or use case. It can be applied for 4G/5G slicing and edge slicing.

Nokia said it’s the leader in 4G/5G network slicing. Nokia was the first to demonstrate 4G/5G network slicing across RAN-Transport-Core with management and assurance. Nokia’s network slicing solution supports LTE, 5G NSA, and 5G SA devices.

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: “We have focused on delivering a consistent slice-specific customer experience that performs under any circumstances or network conditions.”