GLOBECOM 2023, IEEE Global Communications Conference, 4-8 December 2023, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Radio Access Network (RAN) slicing aims to roll out various services in the same network deployment while ensuring performance guarantee and resource isolation, it is identified as one work item of 3GPP Release 18 and as a specific O-RAN use case. However, the current ORAN architecture lacks control flexibility for real-time programmability of less than 10ms. In this work, we propose the FlexSlice framework, which entails the realization of flexible control logic topologies (i.e., centralized, decentralized, and distributed) by evolving the O-RAN architecture to achieve lower control loop latency. In addition, the radio resource scheduler at the Medium Access Control (MAC) layer is redesigned for recursive operations to facilitate virtualization for multi-level resource allocation. Finally, a concrete prototype is developed to demonstrate its efficiency, real-time programmability and control flexibility.