Cradlepoint updated NetCloud Exchange (NCX) with support for standalone 5G network slices. The SD-WAN solution now allows organizations to connect applications to network slices.

Network slicing is the future. The emergence of standalone 5G makes the technique more accessible than ever. Cradlepoint expects more and more operators to offer network slicing in 2023. We explained the technique’s concept and benefits in an earlier article.

Cradlepoint develops a broad portfolio of networking products, including NetCloud. The software allows Cradlepoint’s routers, switches and 5G adapters to be managed in a central dashboard.

NetCloud Exchange (NCX) is an optional extension of NetCloud. The SD-WAN solution provides additional monitoring, configuration and security capabilities. Cradlepoint recently announced that NCX has been updated with support for standalone 5G network slices.

Cradlepoint NetCloud Exchange

The update allows network admins to connect applications to standalone 5G network slices. The process starts with the creation of a new WAN interface. The update makes it possible to mirror the specifications of a standalone 5G network slice in the WAN interface. Afterwards, applications can be set up to exchange data traffic through a network slice.

Users cannot create their own network slices, as that process takes place on the operator’s side. The solution’s primary advantage is the ability to connect applications to network slices without fully relying on an operator. In that respect, the update is a self-service solution. NCX helps organizations connect to network slices on their own initiative.

5G network slicing

The solution will be available before the end of the month, but that’s of little use to most organizations for now. Support for standalone 5G network slices only becomes valuable when you have access to a standalone 5G network. Such networks are rare at this time.

The equipment required is expensive, but that’s about to change. Cradlepoint and other vendors expect standalone 5G to become widely available in the coming years. Until then, Cradlepoint NCX is an interesting SD-WAN solution for early adopters of standalone 5G.

Tip: Wireless WAN solidifies complex WAN environments