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Network Slicing: Drivers, Challenges, Opportunities, and Key Use Cases

Tomorrow’s networks are not just faster pipes; they are business enablers that can create services tailored to specific verticals. Telcos hope to become much more than simple connectivity providers in the B2B space, but current technology does not allow them to do so. This reason caused the concept of network slicing to come to life. It is becoming more important due to B2B verticals having a variety of use cases that will be addressed with 5G technology, and legacy networks are unable to handle these use cases. 
 
Network slicing can be explained as: partitioning the network in smaller instances/slices, where each slice with unique configuration will serve to differentiate use case/cases. Broadly speaking, early pilots and trial deployments are expected to start in 2018, followed by the launch of 5G. The concept is indeed in the early development phase, and although there are quite a few single-vendor trials and demos on the market, the concept still needs years of development before mass market deployment.
 
This report discusses key opportunities, challenges, operator-vendor ecosystem, and value chain aspects of the network slicing market. The analysis of pioneering verticals and geographical regions is also discussed to anticipate the deployment rate of network slicing.
 

Table of Contents

  • 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • 2. INTRODUCTION
    • 2.1. Network Slicing Evolution
    • 2.2. Network Slicing Architecture Overview
    • 2.3. Correlation with NFV and SDN
  • 3. NEED FOR NETWORK SLICING
    • 3.1. Why Do Telcos Need Network Slicing?
    • 3.2. Why Do Technology Implementers Need Network Slicing?
    • 3.3. Key Vendors for Network Slicing
  • 4. IMPLEMENTATION PARAMETERS
    • 4.1. How to Implement Network Slicing
    • 4.2. Expectations vs Reality
  • 5. TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP FOR NETWORK SLICING
    • 5.1. Relevant Technologies
    • 5.2. Impact of Network Slicing on Other Technology Markets
  • 6. VERTICAL/APPLICATIONS AND GEOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS
    • 6.1. Vertical-Wise Use Cases
    • 6.2. Geographic Analysis
  • 7. MAJOR INDUSTRY ANNOUNCEMENTS
    • 7.1. Proof of Concepts (PoC)
    • 7.2. Alliances
    • 7.3. Trials and Demonstrations
    • 7.4. Product Launch
  • 8. POTENTIAL USE CASES
    • 8.1. Virtual Sensor Network Management for Smart City
    • 8.2. Smart Healthcare
  • 9. CONCLUSION
  • 10. TAKEAWAYS