Nokia and Safaricom have trialled Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network slicing on a live 4G and 5G network in Africa.
Network slicing enables operators to divide their networks into multiple virtual slices that can be optimised for a specific application or service. Each slice can be given its own priority in addition to different levels of security.
The pioneering trial utilised a multi-vendor network environment and included RAN, transport, and core as well as software upgrades to a range of Nokia’s products and services.
Ramy Hashem, Head of Safaricom Customer Team at Nokia, said:
“It is great to have successfully completed this pilot with Safaricom, which is a huge step forward in providing Safaricom with state-of-the-art connectivity.
Early experience of new slicing technology is invaluable in understanding the new business opportunities it enables.
Nokia was the first vendor to offer a slicing solution and we are looking forward to continuing our partnership with Safaricom in providing world-class 4G and 5G network slicing services to its customers.”
The successful pilot marks the first time that 4G/5G network slicing has been achieved in Africa.
James Maitai, Network Director at Safaricom, commented:
“We are proud to have hosted Africa’s first successful pilot of 4G/5G FWA slicing on our network, and looking forward to tailoring our service offerings to individual customers and industries, to meet their needs for high-speed connectivity precisely and without unnecessary cost.
Nokia’s expertise has been key to this success, and we anticipate many more strategic wins in this area as our business expands.”
Nokia’s 4G/5G slicing solution won an ‘Innovative Breakthrough in Mobile Technology’ award at GTI 2021. The solution supports LTE, 5G NSA, and 5G SA technologies with slice service continuity between the networks.
(Photo by Ivan Torres on Unsplash)
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