Central among the benefits of network slicing are embedding flexibility and agility into business operations. Segments can be sliced and configured as required without needing to set up a new network. This gives operators the flexibility to host a diverse range of service requirements for various use cases over a single network, adapting, adding and configuring as needed. For example, utility metering that is static and has low requirements can be operated under one slice while autonomous forklift trucks requiring real-time data transfer and priority access to the network run on another.
An additional advantage of network slicing is the ability to add extra security measures to particular slices that handle more critical applications, such as autonomous trucks, something not afforded by Wi-Fi. Unlike 4G or 5G cellular networks, Wi-Fi is shared with others on the spectrum, and therefore it's not possible to prioritize network access to certain functions and devices, as it is with 5G (and to a lesser extent 4G). Furthermore, network slicing is more resilient to cyber attacks because breaches can be contained in one slice and prevented from affecting other parts of the network.
Looking to the fully 5G-enabled future, slicing will be pivotal in enabling operators to support new technical use cases afforded by the fast speeds and low latency of the 5G network, such as autonomous cars.