Isolated Adaptable Network Slices


One of the ultimate objective of 5G is to pave the way for a full-scale deployment of Internet of Things. Since the IoT vertical applications are quite diverse and have divergent requirements in terms of bit rate, latency, packet size, reliability, etc. 5G must rely on a concept called Network Slicing to be able to support all IoT verticals.

Unfortunately, there is no consensus on what a network slice is and how it can be realized. In fact, while the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) provides a more network-focused definition stating that “network slices may differ for supported features and network functions optimizations” the 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G PPP) adopts a business oriented view mandating that “network slice is a composition of adequately configured network functions, network applications, and the underlying cloud infrastructure (physical, virtual or even emulated resources, RAN resources etc.), that are bundled together to meet the requirements of a specific use case, e.g., bandwidth, latency, processing, and resiliency, coupled with a business purpose”. Secure 5G4IoT aims at shedding light on the network slice concept and acquiring knowledge on how network slices can be established.

Secure 5G4IoT adopts an open source software mobile communication approach combined with software defined radio to build an early 5G mobile network and to explore the configuration of network slices.

The Research Questions:

  • How should a network slice be realized?
  • Should a slice support a service or should it support a particular device type?
  • How dynamic can a network slice be?
  • How isolated and secure can a network slice be with regards to the other network slices?
  • Should a device be allowed to connect simultaneously to multiple network slices?

The Research Approach:

To find the answers to the research questions efforts have been successively put into the following tasks:

  1. Orchestration and experiments of several network slice configurations
  2. Experiments on different device access to network slices based on IMSI, IMSI range