A piece of 5G falls into place
Brussels based global carrier BICS has a new SDN (software-defined networking) controller to optimise traffic routing on its networks. This no ordinary network slice, according to Nokia, it’s “another piece of the 5G puzzle falling into place and taking the industry one step closer to global 5G adoption.”
There are two objectives for the new Nokia-built system. In the short term it wants to improve the quality of service but the SDN will also lay the groundwork for a longer-term project, the creation of 5G network slicing. The new SDN controller will manage capacity and flow routing across its global network. The controller can monitor routing paths across the network and then decide how to perfect the traffic flow at all times. The SDN has been tailored to create a bespoke model to set up functions like bandwidth calendaring and network slicing. These make more intelligent use of bandwidth across 5G networks, freeing up capacity as the connectivity needs of its corporate clients evolve.
Better network distribution works on a software level, so that public safety applications can get their own dedicated slice of bandwidth. Another option is the scheduled capacity allocated to a department or system at predefined times, such as “calendaring” bandwidth every month for a cloud data backup. Machines will increasingly demand their own slice of the network, according to Rafael de Fermin, VP of the Network Infrastructure business in Europe at Nokia, who installed the SDN for BICS. “The Internet of Things can get the consistent quality of service that has been promised by 5G for some time. It’s another piece of the 5G puzzle falling into place and taking the industry one step closer to global 5G adoption.”
Until now, the BICS network operators have only been able to create 5G slices for local traffic. The more immediate impact of this development is that BICS’ network will be better placed to serve low-latency and critical applications. Live video streaming for safety applications, at an industrial site, will now run without delays or outages. Delivery is improved by intelligent low-latency routing, whereby the SDN finds the most effective routes for each traffic type, automating switches to guarantee continuous connectivity.
“Network intelligence is worth investing in,” said Jorn Vercamert, VP of Products and Solutions at BICS, “it means even better service for our clients and their customers.”BICS’ network carries around half of the world’s roaming traffic.