Press Releases 2022

SoftBank Corp. Completes Construction of
Commercial SRv6 Network and Introduces Network
Slicing Using “SRv6 Flex-Algo”

New technology to enable an extensible and advanced 5G network

April 26, 2022
SoftBank Corp.

SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”) announced that it completed the deployment of SRv6 (Segment Routing IPv6), a technology that allows simple and extensible networks, into its commercial network. SoftBank also announced that in April 2022 it started to implement network slicing*1 using a new feature of SRv6, “SRv6 Flex-Algo.” Network slicing is a key component of 5G, and SoftBank is aiming for the early adoption of this feature in its commercial network.

Key features of SRv6 Flex-Algo

SRv6 Flex-Algo is a new feature of SRv6 that dynamically creates slices, called Algo, over the IP network. Packets from each service are forwarded to appropriate slices according to their identifiers, which makes it possible to steer traffic according to their respective service requirements. Combined with 5G, Flex-Algo enables a network to meet the needs of a variety of services.

Existing technologies made steering traffic over an IP network a complex task, allowing only limited extensibility but requiring complex operations. In SRv6 Flex-Algo, the IP network automatically generates slices which makes it possible to operate and extend network slices at ease. Identifiers in the 5G network such as 5QI (5G QoS Identifier) and NSSAI (Network Slice Selection Assistance Information) can be used in combination with Flex-Algo to provide network slices that fulfill SLAs (Service Level Agreements) rapidly and at a low cost.

SoftBank aims to implement end-to-end slicing to applications hosted on MEC (Multi-access Edge Computing) servers, using SRv6 Flex-Algo with the newly developed SRv6 MUP*2 (Segment Routing IPv6 Mobile User Plane), linking together IP network slices with 5G slices that 5G users connect to.

  1. *1
    Technology to virtualize a network, in order to provide network resources that are appropriate for each service
  2. *2

SRv6 Flex-Algo Architecture

SRv6 Flex-Algo Architecture
  1. *3
    enhanced Mobile Broadband
  2. *4
    Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications

SoftBank will use the latest technologies such as SRv6 and SRv6 MUP to optimize and enhance its network to be able to add advanced functionalities. As a leading operator in network technology, SoftBank will participate in standardization activities of SRv6 to actively propose new technology ideas.

  • SoftBank, the SoftBank name and logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of SoftBank Group Corp. in Japan and other countries.
  • Other company, product and service names in this press release are registered trademarks or trademarks of the respective companies.