Affirmed Networks is aiming to help prepare operators for the demands of 5G with a new network slicing function that enables fine-grain network control.
The Virtual Slice Selection Function (vSSF) announced Tuesday will reportedly enable slicing across legacy (including 2G, 3G, and 4G), virtualized, and multi-vendor networks, allowing resources to be allocated by device and service types, customer ID, location, time of day, and other attributes. Affirmed Networks indicated these “5G ready” slicing capabilities will enable enhanced flexibility and control, as well as differentiated services and improved quality of experience.
Affirmed Networks said the function will offer a marked improvement in efficiency and speed over the use of Access Point Names (APNs) for resource allocation. When combined with other Affirmed solutions, the company said the vSSF can help slash time-to-market and other operational costs by as much as 90 percent. Introduction of the vSSF is also said to be a breeze, with multi-vendor compatibility and no configuration changes necessary to existing network notes (DNS, MME/SGSN, SGW/PGW/GGSN). The vSSF will evolve to the 3GPP Network Slice Selection Function, Affirmed Networks noted, so operators’ investment won’t be wasted.
“Un-relenting mobile traffic growth and competition from over-the-top providers has changed service provider business models. Operators now require enormous control and flexibility from their networks to maximize profitability,” Affirmed Networks CEO Hassan Ahmed noted. “The vSSF is a result of Affirmed’s continued focus on providing operators with advanced capabilities to drive revenue growth and profitability.”
Affirmed said its vSSF solution is available immediately.