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Microwave Transport Path to 5G Network Slicing

Ghent, Belgium - Sanders]



- Overview

If anyone doubts that microwave transport will be ready for 5G, think again. With carrier aggregation and mmWave deployments, microwave networks provide the high throughput and low latency to meet even the most demanding 5G service. With carrier Software Defined Networking (SDN), microwave networks are managed automatically and dynamically to provide extreme reliability and maintain performance whatever the demand. 

Together, these technologies enable a third capability that will give 5G a business-winning sizzle for Communications Service Providers (CSPs) – network slicing. With network slicing, end users get capacity, latency, reliability, coverage, security and other network performance characteristics tailored to their needs. The user experience will be the same as if they were being served by their own dedicated physical network built just for them. 

Network slicing enables the creation and delivery of innovative services that will drive CSP business growth for the next decade and beyond. CSPs will be able to offer innovative services not possible with 3G/4G networks, allowing them to win revenue from new customer segments. 


- Plotting A Path Through the Network

Microwave transport networks support around half of all base stations globally. Empowering them to support network slicing helps CSPs to re-use existing investments as they deploy 5G. 

This is achieved by implementing carrier SDN to dynamically create a path, with the specific capabilities needed for the network slice, through the transport network from Radio Access Network to the core network or edge application servers. Carrier SDN uses open interfaces to automatically discover the network topology and use the performance characteristics of each physical link in the network to figure out an end-to-end route. Adding a new base station site as part of network densification, for example, becomes a simple task. The new site is assigned an IP address and the SDN automatically provisions all the other end-points with routing information to reach the new destination. 

Implementing a Layer 3 Virtual Private Network (L3VPN) approach to network slicing ensures that traffic on one slice is prevented from interfering with traffic on another slice. Putting the VPN on Layer 3 also benefits from the high level of flexibility and scalability of IP with automated routing.



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