The SliceNet project aims to build a management/control framework to support 5G vertical services built as “slices” of network resources.  Slicing is a strategic direction for 5G telecom operators.

The SliceNet project will run from from June 1st 2017 until May 31st 2020. The consortium is comprised of 15 partners including industrial partners, academic institutions and research centres and small to medium size enterprises across Europe.

The objectives of the SliceNet project are to

  • remove the limitations of current network infrastructures by achieving fully softwarisation-friendly 5G infrastructures
  • address the associated challenges in managing, controlling and orchestrating the new services running in such infrastructures for users (especially vertical sectors), and thus
  • maximise the potential of 5G infrastructures and their services based on advanced software networking and cognitive network management.

The SliceNet managed domain consists of five layers shown here.

–The five layer SliceNet managed domain–

From a bottom-up perspective, the first layer (L1) is the Physical Infrastructure Layer, representing the 4G/5G physical infrastructure deployments. The Virtual Infrastructure (L2) is partially available in some latest 4G deployments or 5G prototypes, where cloud computing technologies are utilised and the emerging Mobile Edge Computing paradigm is being investigated to push virtualised resources to the edge of the network. The Service Layer (L3) comprises all the services (mainly NFV services in SliceNet) running on top of the underlying infrastructure. The Control Layer (L4) is decoupled from the Service Layer following the SDN paradigm to gain a holistic, logically centralised control of the physically distributed services. Finally, the Sliced Service Layer (L5) is a new layer introduced by SliceNet as a novel extension of the multi-tenant concept now embracing the SDN world. This layer will provide a novel plug & play functionality of the control plane so that it is customised and isolated for a particular vertical customer of the infrastructure differentiating itself from the common control plane for all the users of the infrastructure. This layer hosts plug and play control applications provided by the vertical business, for example a QoE Optimization Application to fulfil the requirements of a given vertical business.

The SliceNet project is funded by the EU Commission under the H2020 programme. The project is developing a framework for 5G network slicing consisting of managed domains using network softwarization and slicing to improve network services for service providers, operators and consumers.

Grant agreement number: 761913