Nokia, Safaricom Complete Africa’s First 5G Slicing Trial

Nokia and Safaricom complete Africa’s first Fixed Wireless Access 5G slicing trial

Nokia has successfully piloted its 4G and 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network slicing with the help of mobile operator, Safaricom on its live commercial network.

This is the first-time 4G/5G network slicing has been successfully achieved in Africa.

The trial utilized a multi-vendor network environment and included RAN, transport and core as well as software upgrades to a range of Nokia’s products and services.

The successful trial demonstrates that Safaricom is now poised to support new types of enterprise network services, including fast lane internet access and application slicing. In addition, Nokia is enabling secured FWA slice connectivity to enterprise locations, as well as to private or public application clouds.

4G/5G slicing network enables operators the ability to divide a network into multiple virtual slices, which can be optimized for a specific target application or service.

The end user of each network slice can then be serviced with different priorities, routing, levels of network performance and security capabilities.

Slices can be managed and deployed in minutes, and each one has key performance indicators used for service assurance.

Nokia 4G/5G slicing solution received a prestigious award from GTI 2021 in the ‘Innovative Breakthrough in Mobile Technology’ category, supports LTE, 5G NSA and 5G SA technologies with slice service continuity between the networks. This enables slicing services for all LTE and 5G devices.

“We are proud to have hosted Africa’s first successful pilot of 4G/5G FWA slicing on our network, and looking forward to tailoring our service offerings to individual customers and industries, to meet their needs for high-speed connectivity precisely and without unnecessary cost. Nokia’s expertise has been key to this success, and we anticipate many more strategic wins in this area as our business expands.” said Safaricom Network Director James Maitai.

“It is great to have successfully completed this pilot with Safaricom, which is a huge step forward in providing Safaricom with state-of-the-art connectivity. Early experience of new slicing technology is invaluable in understanding the new business opportunities it enables. Nokia was the first vendor to offer a slicing solution and we are looking forward to continuing our partnership with Safaricom in providing world-class 4G and 5G network slicing services to its customers.” said Ramy Hashem, Head of Safaricom Customer Team at Nokia.

The trial was conducted in Western Kenya and demonstrated multiple solutions including Nokia’s AirScale 4G/5G base stations and FastMile 4G/5G CPE.