International communications platform company BICS has strengthened its network with a new SDN (software-defined networking) controller developed by Nokia. The new intelligence module automates optimal traffic routing on the network, improving overall performance for consumers while laying the groundwork for 5G network slicing.
The new SDN controller will be used to manage capacity and flow routing across its global network. The controller monitors routing paths across the network and makes decisions to adapt and optimize traffic flow at all times. The SDN has been tailored to create a bespoke model for use cases specific to BICS’ needs.
While this move further strengthens BICS’ network in the short term, it also paves the way for future 5G use cases like bandwidth calendaring and network slicing. These use cases mean more intelligent use of bandwidth across 5G networks, unlocking new options for meeting the growing connectivity requirements for enterprises. This improved network distribution will work both on an application level, such as a network slice for public safety applications, or can be scheduled at predefined times, such as “calendaring” bandwidth every month for a cloud data backup.
“SDN control provided by Nokia NSP will be a key component that will enable customers of BICS to deliver next-generation 5G services. says Rafael de Fermin, VP of the Network Infrastructure business in Europe at Nokia. “The delivery of network slicing will allow enterprises looking to adapt 5G for advanced use cases, such as IoT or M2M, to get the consistent quality of service that has been promised by 5G for some time. It’s another piece of the 5G puzzle falling into place and taking the industry one step closer to global 5G adoption.”
As the industry implements 5G network slicing at scale, the SDN controller will be a key component for BICS to manage local and roaming traffic slices. This is particularly significant as current 5G slicing use cases are only for local traffic – meaning it opens the door for future use cases supporting global connectivity. This next level of innovation will depend on operators adopting 5G and slicing at scale in the future.
The more immediate impact of this development is that BICS’ network will be better placed to serve low-latency and critical applications. The controller monitors routing paths across the network and makes decisions to adapt and optimize traffic flow at all times. Use cases like live video streaming for safety applications, at an industrial site, for example, will benefit from lower latency and network reliability in the case of outages. This will be delivered via intelligent low-latency routing – meaning the SDN will find the most effective routes for each traffic type, automating switches to guarantee continuous connectivity.
“BICS is investing heavily in its software solutions ecosystem, and this new module is just the latest development in this effort,” says Jorn Vercamert. VP Products and Solutions at BICS. “Greater network intelligence is worth investing in – it means even better service for our customers, and by extension, the end-customers of those operators. BICS’ network carries around half of the world’s roaming traffic, so this move re-affirms our strength in the global communications landscape and is also a future investment for when the industry fully moves to 5G and looks to deploy network slicing at scale.”