The mobile network is made up of a large infrastructure of physical, mechanical and software components. But it is a single network for everyone . However, 5G+ technology makes it possible to segment 5G networks to create your own mobile network with the features you need at that moment. Something that is essential for many companies. Segmenting a communications network, whether mobile or wired, is known as network segmentation or network slicing and has many applications .
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Although telecommunications networks are very versatile and are used for all types of activities and offer all types of services, sometimes it is necessary to customize that network for specific tasks that require very specific requirements. Whether it’s low latency, a certain speed, specific coverage… And this is made possible by network segmentation . In the case at hand, 5G+ networks facilitate this segmentation for private uses in highly controlled environments such as warehouses or smart factories. But also in activities such as virtual reality or augmented reality.
To better understand what network slicing or network segmentation consists of, we review the words or acronyms related to this technology that most help explain the advantages and operation of segmented 5G+ networks. And it allows us to offer the best service to all the components of a mobile network, adapting to the needs of each one.
RAN – Radio Access Network
The acronym RAN comes from Radio Access Network . Radio Access Network . The network slicing technology that 5G+ connectivity has offered relatively recently has a historical precedent in RAN sharing . This first approach to segmenting mobile networks appeared for the first time with the LTE standard , which was somewhere between the 3G and 4G standards .
Thus, RAN sharing allows the physical infrastructure to be shared between two users, for example, two mobile operators or two companies that use the same network. Instead of each having its own antennas, networks and various equipment, they use a single network that, virtually , becomes two.
SLR – Service Level Requirements
Now focused on network segmentation with 5G+, the first concept to take into account is SLR or Service Level Requirements . Its meaning is service level requirements . Basically they are the needs that the network must meet. The list of specific characteristics to satisfy the mobile network to perform certain services or activities. They are also called SLS or Service Level Specifications . That is, service level specifications.
In practice, SLRs affect closer concepts such as security, availability, performance or reliability . Something that is usually satisfied in generic mobile networks but that in certain situations require a higher level of excellence .
SDN – Software Defined Networking
The acronym SDN comes from Software Defined Networking . That is, software defined networking . Software-defined networks allow you to implement network services for specific uses such as those that a company may need, thus providing a virtual private network . Through software, they can define how data is transported across the network, which data has priority, which devices can access all of the bandwidth or only part of it, or which applications have or do not have access to that network.
Aspects such as latency , speed or data consumption are some of the parameters to take into account when using software-defined networks, which are easy to implement thanks to Network Slicing or network fragmentation .