Toward 5G: When Explosive Bursts Meet Soft Cloud


SOURCE IEEE Network, pp.12-17, Nov./Dec., 2014

Publishing Date:2014-12


Rapid growing demand for mobile data traffic challenges capacities and service provision in the next-generation (5G) cellular networks. Real measurement data from operating cellular networks indicates that the traffic models and scenarios disobey our traditional assumptions (i.e., expressing bursty nature). As a result, current network architectures and service management may cause experience deterioration of subscribers in future networks. In this article, we propose three approaches to alleviate the influence of various traffic bursts: baseband resource pool on a cloud platform as wireless infrastructure to enhance the capacity and flexibility of networks, cloud core networks to provide dynamic extension and service flow control abilities, and software-defined bearer networks to simplify service delivery instructed by core networks. Different from conventional stovepipe-like cloud computing network architectures, our proposed architecture interconnects and shares information between entities, breaking through horizontal device barriers and vertical layers. These cloud-based approaches not only avoid the potentially negative impact of bursts, but also provide a software-controlled end-to-end service management framework for future cellular networks. In addition, by taking advantage of open interfaces of cloud-based network elements, service control algorithms and network APIs could also be implemented to realize smart and soft 5G cellular networks.

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