Enterprises are being held back from developing innovative 5G use cases because mobile operators are not keeping pace with their ambitions.
This is one of the conclusions of a leading telecoms analyst following research into enterprise plans and expectations for 5G. “We found, for example, that 34% of the enterprises we questioned globally are expecting to be using 5G network slicing within two years,” said Camille Mendler, Chief Analyst, Enterprise Services with Omdia. “But as yet no such service exists. The fact is that developments within the mobile industry are not keeping pace with where enterprises would like to be. The pace needs to be picked up.”
Commonly agreed standards for 5G end-to-end network slicing were only completed in June 2021 after a lengthy period of development and refinement. This gestation is seen by many market watchers as a bottleneck for some potentially exciting use cases. The indications are that mobile operators will continue to develop 5G network slicing services during 2022, with full commercialization not expected until 2023. Slice-as-a-service (SlaaS), when it becomes a reality, is expected to be an important revenue generator for mobile operators, but may not see the light of day until 2025.
5G network slicing makes use of network virtualization technology to divide a single network connection into multiple virtual connections, thus enabling the provision of different resources to different traffic types.
“To be quite clear, 5G slicing is technically very difficult, and will require MNOs to make a lot of changes in the back office and with billing,” added Mendler. “This is not a trivial thing. Plus the pandemic has put a brake on this any many other developments in the sector. Now, however, is the time for action.”
Image courtesy of Darksword Armoury.