Nokia has piloted 4G and 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) network slicing with Saudi Arabian telecommunications services provider, Mobily on their live commercial network – the first sliced FWA deployment in the world.
The ongoing pilot, which took place in the capital city of Riyadh, occurred in a multi-vendor environment and included sliced access, transport and core networks with management and assurance capabilities.
The solution will allow Mobily to offer new FWA services to priority consumer and enterprise customers. It also enables slicing per application including voice, data, online gaming or home office applications.
Nokia’s 4G/5G network slicing solution works in LTE, 5G non-standalone (NSA) and 5G standalone (SA) networks. It provides mobile broadband connectivity from 4G/5G devices and Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) to cloud applications through sliced access, transport and core. With the Nokia slicing solution Mobily can divide its network into multiple virtual networks and offer FWA service tiers and premium services to its customers utilizing advanced network resource allocation mechanisms.
During the pilot, Mobily utilized Nokia’s AirScale 4G/5G base stations with its NetAct solution with management, control and assurance, as well as Nokia’s routers, Network Services Platform (NSP) and Digital Operations software. Mobily also used existing third-party core as well as Nokia’s FastMile 4G/5G FWA gateway and third-party CPE products. The slicing capabilities are implemented with software upgrades and configurations into Mobily’s existing network.
Nokia’s slicing solution supports existing LTE, 5G NSA and 5G SA devices. The slice continuity between LTE and 5G allows operators to maximally utilize their network coverage and assets such as available spectrum for new mobile services. Nokia’s customers are already working on a variety of slicing use cases including enterprise applications, transportation, manufacturing, utilities, public safety and smart city applications.
Mobily is the brand name of the Saudi Mobily Company, a Saudi Arabian telecommunications services company that offers fixed-line, mobile telephony and Internet services. Nokia was the first vendor to launch 4G and 5G network slicing and has developed the solution further with slice management automation, orchestration and assurance capabilities. With the same solution, architecture operators can now turn on slicing services for Fixed Wireless Access users.
Alaa Malki, CTO, Mobily said: “Mobily continuously works in partnership with global vendors to try new innovative technologies. Network slicing will enable mobile operators to rapidly provide, manage and assure services within minutes. Each slice can have a different network performance, quality, routing and security capabilities as well as Key Performance Indicators for service assurance.”
Ari Kynäslahti, Head of Technology and Strategy at Nokia Mobile Networks, said: “For early pioneering operators it’s important to get practical real-life experience of the new slicing technology and its business opportunities. Nokia was the first vendor to offer a slicing solution and we are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with Mobily to offer 4G and 5G network slicing services to their customers.”