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What do you know about network slicing?

Maybe you’ve already heard all about it. But if you haven’t, chances are you will.

Network slicing is a game changer for businesses looking for more control over their network resources — and hoping to do more with the network capabilities they have. A core capability of 5G, it opens up new opportunities, innovation possibilities and use cases that were previously near impossible without it.

So what’s the slice on network slicing?

What Is Network Slicing?

A core capability of 5G, network slicing allows you to segment your network and the resources it offers. In doing so, it creates multiple independent networks within the same physical network. Each slice of the network can then be used to support different applications, devices, domains, etc.

Through network slicing, organizations can also accommodate different security, reliability and performance requirements on each slice, allowing you to meet all of your ongoing needs.

Why Does It Matter?

With network slicing, organizations are able to better control the traffic on their network — leading to better management of resources, Quality of Service (QoS), security and latency requirements. Instead of dedicating the entire network’s resources to a single application or use — the streaming of a video, for instance — it uses only the amount of network that’s necessary, preserving resources for other uses. A video doesn’t require your entire network’s resources, after all.

Network slicing, then, takes into consideration the use case and applies only the resources that are needed for it — saving other resources for additional uses. This makes new innovations possible, introduces new business opportunities and lets you maximize your network’s overall return on investment.

How Does It Work?

Through virtualization technology, network slicing creates multiple network slices from a single shared network. Software-defined networking (SDN) then separates the network control plane from the packet-handling data plane, defining virtual networks through defined rules.

Each network slice has its own latency, security, throughput and bandwidth, letting businesses expand their network efficiency and capabilities ; getting more from the resources they have.

Network Slicing Use Cases

Network slicing can help improve real-time performance, increase network capacity and provide more controlled security for businesses of all types. With that in mind, it has a range of different use cases across industries. Here are a few examples of what’s possible with network slicing:

Internet of Things

In industries like manufacturing, oil and gas, and agriculture, Internet of Things (IoT) technology has become increasingly popular. A range of devices and sensors help businesses automate and manage the processes they have underway. And each of those devices and sensors pull on network resources to run smoothly, with different network needs for each. Network slicing can help support all of them without overtaxing your network as a whole.

Autonomous Vehicles

Self-driving cars are no longer a thing of the future — the technology exists today, and is only continuing to get better. By ensuring consistent resources are available through a dedicated slice, network slicing can help power these autonomous vehicles, ensuring nothing goes wrong.

Remote Surgery

Something else that may seem like the stuff of science fiction are remote, robotics-powered surgeries. Today, 5G makes remote surgeries — using robotic arms controlled by surgeons from distant locations — possible. But to make these delicate procedures an everyday possibility, a limited lag time and dedicated network coverage are necessary. That’s where network slicing comes in.

In fact, network slicing opens up a wealth of innovation possibilities for all sorts of business types — helping you get more from your network as a whole.

Who wouldn’t want a slice of that?