Towards software defined 5G radio access networks

Chen, Tao; Nikaein, Navid
Newsletter, Software Defined Networks, March 2016

Network softwarization and virtualization are two key ingredients to abstract infrastructure resources and enable the delivery of the network as a service. Their tight coupling provides the flexibility needed to provision network resources on-demand and to compose and chain network service functions dynamically to meet a wide range of use-cases. Software Defined Network (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) technologies are expected to play an important role in 5G networks. Both SDN and NFV have been widely applied in mobile core network design. In this article we present the concept of software defined Radio Access Networks (RAN). We believe software defined design in RAN will be a key step to support network slicing, RAN sharing, flexible spectrum management and other key features in 5G networks.

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