Network Slicing & Softwarization: A Survey on Principles, Enabling Technologies & Solutions

Ibrahim Afolabi, Tarik Taleb, Konstantinos Samdanis, Adlen Ksentini, Hannu Flinck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)
1041 Downloads (Pure)


Network slicing has been identified as the backbone of the rapidly evolving 5G technology. However, as its consolidation and standardization progress, there are no literatures that comprehensively discuss its key principles, enablers and research challenges. This paper elaborates network slicing from an end-to-end perspective detailing its historical heritage, principal concepts, enabling technologies and solutions as well as the current standardization efforts. In particular, it overviews the diverse use cases and network requirements of network slicing, the pre-slicing era, considering RAN sharing as well as the end-to-end orchestration and management, encompassing the radio access, transport network and the core network. This paper also provides details of specific slicing solutions for each part of the 5G system. Finally, this paper identifies a number of open research challenges and provides recommendations towards potential solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2429 - 2453
JournalIEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials
Issue number3
Early online date20 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • 5G
  • 5G mobile communication
  • Business
  • Cloud
  • Cloud computing
  • Industries
  • MANO and Open Source.
  • Mobile Network
  • Network Management
  • Network Slice
  • Network slicing
  • Network Softwarization
  • NFV
  • Orchestration
  • SDN

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  • Projects

    CSN: Customized Software Networking across Multiple Administrative Domains

    Taleb, T., Maiouak, M., Bagaa, M., Mada, B., El Marai, O., Hellaoui, H., Bekkouche, O., Afolabi, I., Addad, R., Naas, S. & Boudi, A.


    Project: Academy of Finland: Other research funding Global vision, standardisation stakeholder engagement in 5G

    Taleb, T., Mutafungwa, E., Maiouak, M., Benkacem, I., Mada, B., Laghrissi, A., Vuorenmaa, T., Afolabi, I., Naas, S., Benzaid, C. & Ouahouah, S.


    Project: EU: Framework programmes funding

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