End-to-end network slice architecture and distribution across 5G micro-operator leveraging multi-domain and multi-tenancy
Local 5G networks are emerging as a new form for 5G deployment, targeting service delivery for vertical-specific purposes and other local users. These networks are also known as micro-operator networks for which prior work has established different deployment scenarios, namely Closed, Open and Mixed Networks. To achieve network flexibility, customization and privacy required by various vertical sectors, such as industry, health and energy, it is essential to have a well-defined network slicing architecture and adequate implementation procedure. In this paper, a sophisticated end-to-end network slicing architecture is proposed for different deployment scenarios of the local 5G micro-operator concept. The proposed architecture incorporates a broad four-layer concept, leveraging a multi-tenancy layer for different tenants and their end users, a descriptive service layer, a multi-domain slicing management and orchestration layer, and a resource layer. We further propose a network slice instance (NSI) communication service distribution technique for local 5G micro-operators. This is achieved by expanding/leveraging the communication service management function in the multi-tenant layer into a multi-tenant manager and an orchestrator of communication services. In addition, we describe how the communication service orchestrator will address all the possible multitenant-slice situations during the distribution of a network slice instance to multiple tenants. The novel methods described in the paper present a solution for not only network slice communication service distribution across different micro-operator’s tenants but also for future use cases, especially, when the allocated slice is responsible for multiple tenants or when a tenant requests multiple NSIs.