So far, through nearly two years of commercialized use, 5G has gradually manifested its power to “change society” in the deepening digital process of vertical industries such as communications, media, transportation and energy. The crucial “network slicing” is indispensable to vertical industries to catch the express of 5G. It is one of the iconic technologies that distinguish 5G from 4G, and is the key to drive the “digital intelligence” transformation of hundreds of industries in the era of 5G.
Network slicing is one of the core technologies of 5G
5G will greatly improve network communication capabilities. According to the blueprint of 5G business goals, 5G networks will use “slicing” as a method to provide fast resource portfolio configuration based on flexible arrangement, virtualization, and software definition capabilities for the diverse needs of different customers, supporting three major application scenes of mMTC (massive Machine Type of Communication), uRLLC (Ultra-Reliable Low latency Communications-Link), and eMBB (Enhanced Mobile Broadband).
5G slicing requires the support of a new software system
“5G slicing” is a brand-new concept. It can create many isolated logical networks with different capabilities on top of the operators’ network infrastructures as needed, so as to satisfy customers’ different demand for 5G networks with a controllable cost. The slicing capability of 5G network originates from the entire network based on virtuality, cloud and service. These new features also create higher complexity to the network, and even require the introduction of AI methods to assist operations and running. At the same time, the creation of a single slice requires the connection of multiple professions such as wireless, transmission and core network, which puts forward very high standards for the automatic activation capability and cross-profession collaboration capability within the single profession. These challenges have not ever been met by communication operators in the process of traditional network operations and running.
AISWare 5G-Slicing Mgmt An end-to-end operation management system for 5G network slicing
As a complete solution for “5G slicing end-to-end management”, AsiaInfo’s AISWare 5G-Slicing Mgmt is in line with the framework system and technical requirements for slicing management of 3GPP. It is committed to promoting the maturity and implementation of slicing technology and helping operators improve 5G network operation management capabilities in order to turn the slicing service into a new business growth point for government, enterprises and vertical industries.
From the perspective of network neutrality and manufacturer neutrality, AsiaInfo has designed and developed a set of end-to-end management system for 5G network slicing, that is AISWare 5G Slicing Mgmt, based on an in-depth understanding of operators’ businesses and networks and in combination with many successful commercialization cases and experiences. Its goal is to accelerate the implementation of slicing service and reduce the difficulty of slicing service design, sales, deployment, and operations. It mainly consists of two parts, namely Communication Service Management Function (AISWare CSMF) and Network Slicing Management Function (AISWare NSMF).
The product advantages of AISWare 5G-Slicing Mgmt, AsiaInfo’s end-to-end operation management system for 5G network slicing, are concentrated in:
End-to-end operation and management support: AISWare 5G-Slicing Mgmt includes slicing communication service management and network slicing management capabilities, which can provide vertical industry customers with full-process end-to-end business support such as demand collection, demand analysis and design, network slicing arrangement, and SLA guarantee.
Microservice architecture adapted to diverse customer requirements: AISWare 5G-Slicing Mgmt adopts the microservice architecture system, which can be deployed independently according to customer requirements to flexibly adapt to the existing IT architecture and support Docker containerizing management.
Guarantee industry user experience based on communication AI technology: Based on AsiaInfo’s mature communication AI platform, AISWare 5G-Slicing Mgmt provides intelligent slicing arrangement, SLA intelligent guarantee, and management of vertical industry customer experience, alleviating the burden on operations personnel in an all-round manner.
Implementation cases of AISWare 5G-Slicing Mgmt
AISWare 5G-Slicing Mgmt product has been widely applied to the 5G network slicing operation and management practices of major domestic communication operators, and are suitable for private network operation scenarios in the power, radio and television, finance, energy and other industries.
Case 1: 5G network slicing communication service management
The slicing communication service management function (CSMF) of a communication operator in a province combines different types of 5G network slices (eMBB, URLLC, mMTC) to provide 5G slice ordering, activation and service for government affairs, energy, finance, transportation and other industries. At the same time, the integration of terminal, network, cloud and other capabilities are supported to form a complete industry solution. The operator is supported to cooperate with partners to create a new 5G network operation ecosystem.
Case 2: 5G network slicing service arrangement
In a communication operator group, the network slicing management function (NSMF) acquires the slicing service needs of industry customers through standardized CSMF and NSMF interfaces, meets different slicing business needs by planning and designing different slicing templates, and then realizes the activation of slicing and the life cycle of management through sub-slicing manager of wireless, transmission and core networks.
Case 3: SLA guarantee of 5G network slicing
A communication operator in a province adopts the network slicing management function (NSMF) to conduct automatic anomaly detection, anomaly alarm and automatic root cause analysis for important SLA indicators, so as to find out the problematic network elements and the root cause of the failure from the large number of network elements included in the end-to-end slicing, and trigger adjustment actions based on scene matching and preset strategies to achieve closed-loop solutions to problems.
Outlook: Continuous exploration of the road to superior products for 5G network slicing operation and management
With the rapid deployment of the 5G SA network, the implementation and commercial use of 5G network slicing end-to-end operation management system AISWare 5G-Slicing Mgmt will be expedited. 5G network slicing will expand the sales model of communication services from B2C to B2B and B2B2X, and expand the customer base from mainly centering on ordinary mobile users to centering on both ordinary mobile users and vertical industry customers, thereby completely changing the fields such as smart grid, smart cities, autonomous driving and industrial automation, while bringing new profit opportunities for operators.