With deployment of 5G standalone (SA) networks increasing, one of the key applications for their use is private networking, making use of the fundamental technological basis of 5G SA to offer dedicated portions of networks for individual businesses. Reacting to this increased demand, ICT trade association ETSI has announced the establishment of its first software development group (SDG), to be known as OpenSlice, to position itself as a focal point for development and experimentation with network slicing.
Officially recognised by the EU as a European Standardisation Organisation (ESO), ETSI exists to provide members with an open and inclusive environment to support the development, ratification and testing of globally applicable standards for ICT systems and services across all sectors of industry and society. It currently has more than 900 member organisations worldwide, drawn from over 60 countries and five continents, spanning large and small private companies; research entities; academia; and government and public organisations.
Network slicing is regarded as offering exciting potential in a number of industry use cases for two reasons. First, it offers a minimum upload speed threshold that can be set to guarantee data, no matter how large, is uploaded quickly and reliably. Second, it potentially removes the risk of network congestion.
ETSI OpenSlice is developed using ETSI Zero touch network & Service Management (ETSI ZSM) principles, implementing the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) data model and application programming interfaces (APIs). ETSI OpenSlice builds on code seeds developed by European Research.
OpenSlice will aim to create an open source, service-based operations support system (OSS) to deliver network slicing as a service (NSaaS) in alignment with specifications from leading standards development organisations, including 3GPP, TM Forum and mobile industry trade association the GSMA.
“The launch of SDG OpenSlice marks a significant milestone for ETSI and the wider telecommunications industry. Collaboration among software development and standardisation groups will foster the early validation of the latest technologies and accelerate the time to market of next-generation networks,” said ETSI director general Luis Jorge Romero.
The kick-off meeting of SDG OpenSlice will be held in Castelldefels, Barcelona, in October 2023. The founding members of the group include OpenSlice Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC), Instituto de Telecomunicações, Telefónica SA, the University of Murcia and the University of Patras. They have already been joined by K3Y Ltd, Odin Solutions S.L. and Ubitech.
“ETSI SDG OpenSlice will revolutionise the way network slicing is delivered,” said Christos Tranoris, University of Patras, convenor of ETSI SDG OpenSlice. “We are excited about the impact this collaborative effort will have on the telecommunications landscape, advancing the adoption of NSaaS, ensuring the interoperability and seamless integration of network slicing technologies.”
As part of ETSI’s broader efforts in future networks, OpenSlice joins forces with Open Source MANO and TeraFlowSDN to enrich the suite of ETSI open source components. This framework is designed to facilitate experimentation, proofs-of-concept, integration and testing, delivering valuable early and regular feedback to the standardisation process.
Read more about network slicing
- Vodafone enables ITN Coronation TV coverage with 5G network slice: Coronation broadcast first in UK to be enabled by a public 5G standalone network, with leading news provider using mobile network for swift and secure transfer of coverage from remote sites to newsroom.
- Nokia advances 5G network slicing, FWA across Europe and Asia: Comms tech provider extends 5G capability, working with Chinese operator on a first of its kind fixed wireless access trial in the country, while international communications platform company strengthens 5G network with SDN.
- Ericsson, Intel and Microsoft demo enterprise laptop 5G network slicing capabilities: Comms tech provider teams with chip and IT giants on ‘pioneering’ trial demonstrating the applicability of 5G networking slicing technology on devices beyond smartphones.
- Samsung completes KDDI 5G SA network slicing field trial, inks Nokia patent licence: Korean tech giant makes further strides in 5G in first demonstration of network slicing using RIC on a live 5G SA network with leading Japanese operator, and signs patent agreement with Finnish comms tech provider.