By 2020 one of the most innovative aspects of commercial 5G networks will let the operators provide portions of their networks for specific business cases and customers – a 5G feature known as network slicing. Network slicing is a type of virtual networking architecture based on software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) that will move networks towards software automation.
There are many interesting use cases such as mobile broadband, massive IoT, mission critical IoT and deployment of other slices for communication, entertainment, retail, shipping, automotive and medical applications which will support specific customers and market segments.
5G will be characterized by its wide diversity of use cases and their varied technical requirements of bandwidth, delay and power.
In a virtualized network, physical components such as storage and processors are common resources for logical (software based) partitions to devote capacity to different services dynamically, according to their need. As need change, so will the allocated resources.
Network slicing will let the 5G network save resources since only the resources currently needed by the use cases will be utilized. This results in savings compared to deploying dedicated resources as well as enabling faster time-to-market.