How 5G Slicing, Customizable RAN Spells Opportunity for Ribbon

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At a time when global telecom community is moving rapidly towards embracing 5G communication standards – it is all about adoption of 5G network slicing and enabling a highly customizable RAN. This spells great opportunity for a company like Ribbon Communications.

Speaking on the sidelines of recently held Perspectives18 – the organization’s annual event in Los Angeles – Kevin Riley, CTO and  EVP of Advanced R&D, Ribbon Communications explained how the company is looking at this space and how it is offering great value to operators embracing 5G.

Kevin Riley

“The slicing capabilities being introduced with 5G is very interesting. It is not just the faster RAN anymore, now it’s a highly customizable RAN. It can be customized per customer, per application, so when you have that kind of flexibility and you want to take advantage of that kind of flexibility, it becomes incredibly important to be able to closely monitor and have deep level of insights on how those applications are running. So, providing network analytics and network operations view – how it is running on tuned 5G network – becomes very important,” he explained.

5G is all about Programmable Network

5G is also opening up space to program networks according to needs and preferences of user groups and hence – designing and implementing applications and use cases as per the specific customer needs. This is the true power of embracing 5G and with its capabilities to provide deep insights inside UC applications – Ribbon is spearheading a lot of innovation in this space.

“5G is a programmable network now. You can dynamically configure that RAN. UC is a very elastic application in terms of its wants and needs and how it runs on a network, depending on how many people are using it, what services are being invoked and as UC kind of expands and contracts in terms of usage patterns on the network – that data needs to feed into the RAN so that, the particular application be given appropriate bandwidth, proper prioritization all the way down to the end user so that the application runs flawlessly and that’s one of the things that we will provide with our analytical engine which is kind of taking the UC requirements and usage patterns and translating that into policy on the 5G side along with that, provide the network view and troubleshooting and SLA monitoring for that service as it is run. So, as a result of the above scenario – the RAN opening up and becoming programmable – now I can take my UC knowledge and program that policy into RAN. This is a very exciting opportunity now,” Riley informed.

Big Benefits of 5G Network Slicing

5G Network Slicing uses software driven capabilities such as NFV (Network functions virtualization) and SDN (Software Defined Networking) in order to divide physical network into multiple virtual networks and cater to various customer computing needs. Hence – now it can become the basis for providing highly personalized services.

With 5G network slicing in place, a single network can be used to deliver various service based and specific use case based customer experiences.

As a result of network slicing, Telecom Operators can now allocate appropriate amount of resources as per network slice. Hence it helps in effective utilization of their networking, computing and storage resources.

This offers improved operational efficiency of the network and at the same time reduced time to market for delivery of the 5G network services to different customer sets.

This emerging trend is also helping network operators in reducing expenses and capital expenditure and hence become extremely competitive and relevant in offering next generation services.

The author traveled to Los Angeles to attend Perspectives18 on invitation from Ribbon Communications