Harmonizing 3GPP and NFV Description Models: Providing Customized RAN Slices in 5G Networks
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AuthorAdamuz-Hinojosa, Oscar; Munoz, Pablo; Ordonez-Lucena, Jose; Ramos-Munoz, Juan J.; Lopez-Soler, Juan M.
O. Adamuz-Hinojosa, P. Munoz, J. Ordonez-Lucena, J. J. Ramos-Munoz and J. M. Lopez-Soler, "Harmonizing 3GPP and NFV Description Models: Providing Customized RAN Slices in 5G Networks," in IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 64-75, Dec. 2019, doi: 10.1109/MVT.2019.2936168.
SponsorshipThis work is partially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, the European Regional Development Fund (Project TEC2016-76795-C6-4-R); Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (FPU Grant 17/01844); University of Granada, Andalusian Regional Government and European Social Fund under Youth Employment Program.
The standardization of Radio Access Network (RAN) in mobile networks has traditionally been led by 3GPP. However, the emergence of RAN slicing has introduced new aspects that fall outside 3GPP scope. Among them, network virtualization enables the particularization of multiple RAN behaviors over a common physical infrastructure. Using Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) that comprise customized radio functionalities, each virtualized RAN, denominated RAN slice, could meet its specific requirements. Although 3GPP specifies the description model to manage RAN slices, it can neither particularize the behavior of a RAN slice nor leverage the NFV descriptors to define how its VNFs can accommodate its spatial and temporal traffic demands. In this article, we propose a description model that harmonizes 3GPP and ETSI-NFV viewpoints to manage RAN slices. The proposed model enables the translation of RAN slice requirements into customized virtualized radio functionalities defined through NFV descriptors. To clarify this proposal, we provide an example where three RAN slices with disruptive requirements are described following our solution.