The Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) Network slicing of the 4G and 5G networks in Africa has been trialled by Nokia and Safaricom. Network slicing helps the operators to divide all the networks into multiple slices, which can be used for one particular service or application. Different levels of protection can also be assigned to each slice, along with its own priority. To range the number of Nokia's products and services, the trial used a multi-vendor network environment and software upgrades, including RAN, Transport and core.
According to the Head of Safaricom Customer Team at Nokia, Ramy Hashem:
This pilot is successfully accomplished with Safaricom, and it is a great step for giving state-of-the-art connectivity to Safaricom. Knowing the new commercial prospects that new slicing technology enables early on is invaluable. Nokia was the first one to start the slicing network solution, but now the company is looking forward to continuing its partnership with Safaricom to provide 4G and 5G Network slicing services to all the customers. The Pilot successfully represents 4G and 5G network slicing for the first time in Africa.
According to the Network Director of Safaricom, James Maitai:
It's proud to say that the 4G and 5G FWA Slicing network has been successfully achieved in Africa, and it's ready to give its services to all the customers and industries, which helps to meet their needs for the high-speed network without the expensive cost. The secret to this accomplishment has been Nokia's experience, and as the company grows, they expect to achieve many more strategic victories in this field.
Difference Between 4G and 5G Network Slicing
In 4G networks, network slicing has only been made available in the limited form of isolating a service within a shared infrastructure. Network slicing in the 5G network will enable carriers to build virtual data pipelines for every service's data type, guaranteeing the QoS for each service.
At GTI 2021, Nokia's 4G/5G slicing solution was recognised as an "Innovative Breakthrough in Mobile Technology." The system allows slice service continuity between the networks for LTE, 5G NSA, and 5G SA technologies.