Deutsche Telekom and Huawei demo 5G autonomous network slicing

Automatic end-to-end network slices can be created in less than a minute to provide intelligent allocation of resources for diverse customers use cases

Deutsche Telekom and Huawei demo 5G autonomous network slicing

Huawei is claiming yet another 5G first, this time in conjunction with Deutsche Telekom, in the shape of a solution for automatic end-to-end (E2E) 5G network slicing. Using software defined network technology, the solution adds dynamic and real-time slicing of the 5G radio access network (RAN) and data centre (DC), as well the interconnecting transmission network.

The demo, conducted in Deutsche Telekom’s 5G: haus lab based in Bonn, Germany, shows how different network slices can be created automatically in an optimised way on a shared RAN, core and transport network. This allows slice creation in less than a minute while ensuring an efficient and intelligent allocation and re-allocation of resources as required for each individual slice.

E2E network slicing is a foundational technology which is required to support diversified 5G services and is a key to the 5G network architecture evolution. In that context, enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine type communication (mMTC) and ultra-reliable low-latency communication (uRLLC) are envisaged network classes that could be built as slices.

Each network slice is derived from a unified physical network infrastructure, which greatly reduces the operators' network construction costs. Network slices feature a logical arrangement of resources which operate as individual networks, thereby enabling the operator to provide heavily customisable service requirements.

E2E network slicing not only includes the core network and RAN, but also interconnecting transport networks. The demo implemented bandwidth based transport network slicing. The transport network consists of TSDN controllers and underlying dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) nodes. The controllers generate a series of specific data forwarding paths based on slice topology and service requirements.

The two companies report that the demo validated real-time dynamic adjustments of network slices on very fine spectral granularity, signal process and protocol stack.

Huawei’s F-OFDM (filtered orthogonal frequency division multiple) air interface technology is the key to enabling this spectral granularity and also permits efficient co-existence and isolation of all 5G New Radio (5G NR) slices.

The demo implements E2E network slicing automation based on service oriented network auto creation (SONAC). It uses software-defined topology (SDT), software defined protocol (SDP) and software-defined resource allocation (SDRA) to ensure the automatic implementation of slice management, service deployment, resource scheduling, and fault recovery based strictly on a detailed and thorough network data analysis.

“Network slicing is envisaged for 5G to provide differentiated connectivity quickly and efficiently for the diverse future applications that our customers will demand. With automated network slicing, the development of highly flexible end-to-end network slicing becomes more complete,” said Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, chief technology officer, Deutsche Telekom.

“Huawei has made significant key 5G technologies. This additional breakthrough on E2E network slicing automation is a great contribution to the 5G industry of the future and helps to bring the vision of 5G slicing closer to reality for our customers,” said Dr. Wen Tong, Huawei Fellow, CTO, Huawei Wireless.

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