July 31, 2017

A refactoring approach for optimizing mobile networks

  • Bujari A.
  • Flinck H.
  • Palazzi C.
  • Pozza M.
  • Rao A.
  • Tarkoma S.

Mobile networks are expected to serve a wide range of verticals, however the Long Term Evolution (LTE) network is optimized for basic mobile operator services only. The network functions serving LTE networks are largely implemented as dedicated single function devices that offer poor customization options. This intrinsic inflexibility makes current LTE networks unable to meet the requirements of future mobile networks. For example, LTE networks experience signaling storms because the signals exchanged by the network functions cannot be optimized according to the current usage pattern of mobile services. Modularizing these network functions would enable a refactoring of the LTE network, allowing operators to compose networks that adapt and evolve with the influx of verticals. In this article, we present a new approach for refactoring the network functions serving LTE networks which can be leveraged to compose a modular mobile network optimized for the verticals using its services. As an example, we demonstrate that deploying network functions at the edge significantly reduces the signals exchanged within a mobile network.

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