Remember back in the day when we used to have to actually plug our devices into the Internet? So quaint. Yes, it was a pain in the butt, and yes, it hampered mobility (to say the least), but to this day it remains the best and most reliable connection you can get. Since the arrival of pervasive wireless networks, the dream of delivering a “fibre over the air” experience has been a dream yet unfulfilled, at least in any consistent, reliable way. Indeed, the wireless revolution has in the aggregate been something of a “two steps forward, one step back” pattern of progress. Though mobility suddenly became possible, reliable, consistent connectivity went out the window. But that’s all changing thanks to some very interesting Proofs of Concept (PoCs) leveraging vertical network slicing, including some to be unveiled in the next month at the TMForum in Singapore.
If you’re a mobile infrastructure provider, no doubt it’s been a bad few quarters. October saw Ericsson’s 3Q/17 results drop 6% year on year. Closer to home, Nokia’s earning for the quarter looked even worse – a drop of 7% (4% on currency adjustments) spurring European SVP Markus Borchert to lob a shot cross the continent’s bow this week, decrying Europe’s lagging investments in the mobile grid. Meanwhile, the Asian elephant in the room, Huawei...
At the recent GSMA Mobile 360 conference in Brussels, T-Mobile CTO Johannes Springer made one of the strongest cases for network slicing yet and with the simplest and possible most compelling use case, the connected car. In fact, and as he pointed out in the session title, “Paving the Way for Connected Cars” we are really talking about multiple use cases, all of them critical, and all of them very unique in their purpose and requirements.
Originally mobile networks were simply built to transmit voice from subscriber A to subscriber B. Today, strange as it may seem, this is the prime bestowed purpose and dominant theme in most network and business planning though the lion's share of the value has moved away from voice and into the cloud of connected devices. And while so far combining Circuit Switched voice and text and Packet Switched data has been fairly seamless, very soon we will have to revisit the core principals that drive network strategic planning in the face of stark financial realities and ever more demanding customers.
Is Net Neutrality the fly in the ointment of Network Slicing? It depends on who you are asking, and more to the point, what use cases happen to be falling under their microscope. The EU’s BEREC regulations on net neutrality go perhaps further than anyone has to draw out the discussion of where network slicing, (or “traffic management for special services” as they call it) finds its happy place on the free and open internet. Still we are only at the beginning of its ascent.
The very first Mobile World Congress Americas conference just wrapped up and I was happy to have had the opportunity to attend. After a cold, rainy summer in Finland this year, just about any event in sunny San Francisco in September would be a pleasure. With its maiden voyage making landfall at the iconic Moscone center,
When we think about the telecom space most of us don’t conjure a particularly safe or friendly place for startups to play. Most VCs and entrepreneurs would agree, and yet while traditionally speaking this is true, might we be at the precipice of a sea-change in telecom that may see all boats (even small startup vessels) rise? It’ll a tall order to be sure. While telecom arguably supports the whole shooting match, it’s more like a national highway system than an ecosystem.
No doubt but the year 2017 marks the beginning of new mobile era. There are already many fixed/wireless trials in the works employing pre-5G standard air interfaces. Meanwhile with the winter Olympics in Korea just 6 months away, KT amoung others are promising to showcase yet more high profile 5G implementations.
Network Slicing means that from a single network mobile operators can provide different service levels based on different business models. According NGMN.org, “The Network Slice Instance may be composed by zero, one or more Sub-network Instances, which may be shared by another Network Slice Instance.” But in order to provide SLAs for any connection, each slice will require admission control and tight management protocols to define how, when and where the slice will be used.