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The landscape of telecom services isn’t the same as before. With the evolution of the latest technologies like 5G, telecom services have gone to the next level. However, the innovations in the telecom industry have made service management trickier. Telecom operators have to adopt new technologies and maintain service availability simultaneously. One such trend in the telecom industry is network slicing. With the introduction of 5G technology, network slicing is now more common than ever. Read on to know more about network slicing and how AIOps can help telecom implement it.

Understanding the concept of network slicing

When numerous logical networks are created on the same network infrastructure, it is referred to as network slicing. Each logical network can be used for a distinct service type. Every network slice has the power to define its service level agreement and logical topology. The main objective of network slicing is to meet the distinct requirements of industry users. A telecom operator does not have to construct multiple private networks to meet industry needs. Instead, it can create network slices on the same physical network infrastructure. Network slicing is much more affordable than deploying multiple private networks. As the craze for digital transformation services and solutions is increasing, network slicing is more critical than ever.

Do telecom operators need network slicing in 2022?

With the evolution of cloud-based technologies, network slicing is a must. The need for network slicing is observed in organizations. Consider a firm with a massive IT infrastructure that has many service quality requirements. Mobile communication, intelligent homes, smart vehicles, video conferencing, and smart reading each have their own needs. You may understand different service quality requirements better when you look at the IT infrastructure of an organization. If the service quality requirements aren’t met with network slicing, service reliability might take a toll. Some examples that demonstrate the need for different service quality requirements are as follows:

  • Live streaming and video uploading services demand a higher transmission rate than other services.
  • Smart grid and autonomous vehicles require 100% service reliability for better results. The latency for such services needs to be as minimum as possible.

As you can see, the service quality requirements are different for different tasks. An organization cannot create a private network for each task as it is costly. Instead, it can create network slices for other processes and maintain service availability at a lower cost. Since recent technologies like 5G are highly compatible with network slicing, organizations are looking to use them more than often. However, there are several challenges with network slicing, which need a reliable solution. IT automation with AI tools has proved to be a solution for effective network slicing.

Pros of network slicing in 2022

Some reasons why telecom operators should offer network slicing services are as follows:

  • With network slicing, telecom operators can prevent a service burst from hampering all tasks. Even if heavy traffic occurs, it will only affect a few network slices and not the entire IT network. It is beneficial for services like smart grids, autonomous vehicles, and other sensitive services.
  • With network slicing, telecom operators can isolate services and resources when needed. Even if the service availability for a task is low, overall service availability can still be high.
  • As discussed above, bandwidth and latency requirements are different for each service. Network slicing helps meet the requirements of each service without disrupting the entire network.
  • With network slicing, services and traffic travel in different directions from the same point. It results in flexible and dynamic networks connections that meet diverse needs.

Challenges with network slicing for telecom operators

Network slicing has been around for years. However, with the increasing consumer demands, network slicing has become trickier. Network slicing requires proactive management to boost service availability. The challenges with network slicing for telecom operators in 2022 are as follows:

  • For network slicing, telecom operators isolate one set of services or applications. The real challenge is the isolation of connectivity and performance. If the connectivity and performance change from one slice to another, it needs supervision. Telecom operators cannot monitor the slices manually as they don’t have the workforce for it. It is why telecom operators look for IT automation with AI tools to manage the network with the least manual effort.
  • Telecom operators may offer network slicing facilities easily for a small network. The challenge occurs when slices are to be created in a large network. Organizations also change their network requirements according to user needs. In such a case, telecom operators find it trickier to maintain the optimum service reliability level.
  • As more and more slices are created within the network, the chances of data silos increase. A telecom operator wants to collect data from all the private networks created via network slicing. Network data from all sources is needed to predict performance and service availability.
  • Not all telecom operators can hire a large workforce to manage network slices. Even if they do, they need to find expert technicians to manage network slices. The recent 5G technology is complex and needs expert technicians to manage it.

How can AIOps improve network slicing?

The Telecom industry is looking for digital transformation services and solutions to achieve hyper-automation. No other technology than AIOps (Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations) can help telecom operators. A few years back, the use of AI for network slicing seemed a far-fetched idea. At present, many telecom operators are using AIOps to manage network slices without any manual interference.

AIOps based analytics platforms can manage all network slices from a central location. Even if no one is at the organization’s premises, an AIOps-based system will monitor the network slices. Collecting network data from different sources will be a mundane task for an AIOps based analytics platform. As it collects more and more data, it can predict network performance and possible risks. You can follow a proactive approach for network slicing with AIOps. It will also help telecom operators to cut down the network management cost. Automate network slicing processes with AIOps!

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