Network Slicing Management Technique for Local 5G Micro-Operator Deployments
Local 5G networks are expected to emerge to serve different vertical sectors’ specific requirements. These networks can be deployed by traditional mobile network operators or entrant local operators. With a large number of verticals with different service requirements, while considering the network deployment cost in a single local area, it will not be economically feasible to deploy separate networks for each vertical. Thus, locally deployed 5G networks (aka micro operator networks) that can serve multiple verticals with multiple tenants in a location have gained increasing attention. Network slicing will enable a 5G micro-operator network to efficiently serve the multiple verticals and their tenants with different network requirements. This paper addresses how network slicing management functions can be used to implement, orchestrate and manage network slicing in different deployments of a local 5G micro-operator including the serving of closed, open and mixed customer groups. The paper proposes a descriptive technique by which different network slicing management functionalities defined by 3GPP can be used in coordination to create, orchestrate and manage network slicing for different deployment scenarios of a micro- operator. This is based on the network slice instance configuration type that can exist for each scenario. A network slice formation sequence is developed for the closed micro operator network to illustrate the tasks of the management functions. The results indicate that network slicing management plays a key role in designing local 5G networks that can serve different customer groups in the verticals.