Nokia has announced the successful piloting of its 4G and 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network slicing with mobile operator Safaricom on its live commercial network. This is the first time in Africa that a 4G/5G network has been successfully sliced. The study used a multi-vendor network architecture and included RAN, transport, and core components, as well as software upgrades to a variety of Nokia products and services.

Safaricom is now ready to handle new types of business network services, such as fast lane internet access and application slicing, thanks to the successful trial. Furthermore, Nokia provides secure FWA slice connection to company sites as well as private or public application clouds.

The multi-vendor experiment, which took place in Kenya’s Western Region, enhances the two businesses’ strategic cooperation, with Nokia already delivering a wide range of services and solutions. Nokia’s AirScale 4G/5G base stations, the NetAct network management and assurance system, and Nokia’s FastMile 4G/5G CPE were all used in the experiment.

Network slicing allows operators to break a network into several virtual slices, each of which can be optimized for a certain target application or service. Each network slice’s end user may then be served with varied priorities, routing, network performance levels, and security capabilities. Slices may be managed and deployed in minutes, and each contains key performance metrics that are utilized to ensure service quality.

Nokia’s 4G/5G slicing system, which got a top award from GTI 2021 in the area of ‘Innovative Breakthrough in Mobile Technology,’ supports LTE, 5G NSA, and 5G SA technologies while maintaining slice service continuity across networks. Slicing services are now available 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 we look forward to tailoring our service offerings to individual customers and industries, to meet their needs for high-speed connectivity precisely and without unnecessary cost,” said James Maitai, Network Director at Safaricom. “Nokia’s expertise has been critical to our success, and we expect many more strategic wins in this area as our business grows.”

Ramy Hashem, Head of Safaricom Customer Team at Nokia, said “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.”


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