Network Slicing: Hype and Hypothesis

Tuesday | 9:50 - 10:10 am

The visionaries have grand ideas about what 5G should be. It’s a universal network to connect anything, wirelessly, reliably, with low latency and high bandwidth, with billions of endpoints.  It connects anything from a temperature sensor, to a warehouse stock tag, to a vehicle, to a robot, to a phone. The means by which these disparate devices with their very different requirements can be connected by one single network is called “network slicing”.  The idea is to create virtual networks, with different characteristics and performance parameters, for each class of devices to be connected.  This enable the creation of verticalities in the network: for example, everything needed for vehicle to vehicle communications, or smart energy-efficient environmental control, or mobile video streaming. This paper takes a look at network slicing and sees how it achieves these objectives.  For example, how can the network planners ensure that applications requiring ultra-reliable but low-bandwidth communications ensure this is protected from the demands of bandwidth-hungry but less critical applications?  How can accurate synchronization be provided over sliced networks? How can these virtual networks be managed and controlled?