March 20, 2017

Enabling RAN Moderation and Dynamic Traffic Steering in 5G

  • Bulakci Ö.
  • Ericson M.
  • Fantini R.
  • Moya F.
  • Prasad A.

The exponential increase in capacity and data rate demands, along with the diversification of use cases and verticals that are planning to use cellular radio access networks (RANs) to provide connectivity, has prompted the development of the fifth generation (5G) of radio access technology. Traffic steering, which aims at optimum mapping of the data flows to the appropriate RAN access points (APs), is considered to be one of the key enablers for supporting diverse set of requirements ranging from 1000 times higher capacity than 2010 figures to 99.999 % reliability. Furthermore, to constrain power consumption due to the ultra-densification of the network in 5G, enhanced mechanisms are required that can exploit multi-connectivity. In this paper, we build upon the envisioned connectivity provided through multiple radio links and provide schemes to enable dynamic traffic steering and energy-efficient RAN moderation in 5G. First, we present the various protocol options for tight integration of long-term evolution (LTE) and 5G networks. We then investigate how faster traffic steering over the multiple radio links can be enabled, which can both reduce the packet delivery time by increasing the capacity and reliability, and also reduce the power consumption of the network through efficient operation. Detailed performance evaluations done on the various presented mechanisms indicate the technology potential of the proposed enhancements.

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