5G core network functionality driven by SDN, NFV

To reap the full benefits of 5G, operators are using SDN, NFV and network slicing to build out core network functionality.

As 5G deployments begin to roll out across networks, operators continue to work toward creating a reliable core network architecture.

A key part of building that reliability is implementing technologies like software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV). Both architectures can integrate with 5G infrastructure to support more customization, flexibility and management.

SDN separates the data and control planes, which enables operators to manage features from a centralized location. NFV, too, is a process involving separation. By virtualizing network infrastructure, NFV separates the functions that typically run in hardware and implements them as software.

These capabilities support network slicing, which is an important aspect of 5G core networks, according to author William Stallings. In Chapter 9 of 5G Wireless: A Comprehensive Introduction, from Pearson, Stallings discusses SDN, NFV and network slicing, as well as how they integrate with each other to build out 5G networks.

"Network slicing is essential to the exploitation of the capabilities defined for 5G," Stallings said. It separates a single physical network into multiple virtual networks that share the same network infrastructure. This logical separation splits networks into customizable slices, enabling operators to deliver services based on each customer's needs.

Beyond customization, network slicing helps operators ensure quality of service (QoS) for customers. Adequate QoS enables operators to improve network performance by reducing latency, improving security and more.

Below is an excerpt from Chapter 9, "Core Network Functionality, QoS, and Network Slicing" from 5G Wireless: A Comprehensive Introduction. Stallings goes into more detail about these technologies, the roles they are poised to play in 5G networks, how to ensure QoS and more.

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