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Radio Access and Spectrum

FP7­FutureNetworksCluster

Spectrum FP7­FutureNetworksCluster http://www.ict­ras.eu/ 5G radio network architecture This white paper is an outcome

5G radio network architecture

This white paper is an outcome of the Radio Access and Spectrum cluster projects funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme in the area of Future Networks. It presents a view from the European research community on the architecture aspects of 5G mobile and wireless communication systems.

1. Introduction

Theuseofmobilecommunicationnetworkshasincreasedsignificantlyinthepastdecades,in termsofcomplexityofapplications,theirrequiredcapacities,andheterogeneityofdevicetypes. Sofar,thistrendhasalwaysbeenmetbysignificanttechnologicaladvancementsandwill continuetoincrease.By2020,Europehastopavetheway foranewgenerationofconverged wiredandwirelesscommunicationnetworks,whichhastobedevelopedanddeployedtomove forwardtoafuturenetworkedsociety.Inthiswhitepaper,wepresentourperspectiveonsucha

5Gradioaccessnetworkandfocusespeciallyonthearisingchallengesandnewtechnologies

thatenableustomeetthesechallenges.

Lookingbackatthedevelopmentof3G(UMTS,HSPA)and4G(LTE,LTE­Advanced)itisclear

thatthesegenerationsofmobilenetworksfocusedoncreatingnewphysicalradiotransmission

schemesinordertomeetnewcapacityrequirements.Fromourpointofview,5Gnetworks

shouldconsiderbothwirelessandwiredpartstargetingafullyintegratedsolution.Furthermore,

inordertoaddresstheuser­orientedchallenges,weforeseeacontinuedevolutionofexisting

functions,e.g.,networkdensificationintoultra­densenetworksanddevice­to­device

communications,aswellasdevelopmentofnewfunctionssuchasmovingnetworksand

massivemachinecommunications.Thisrequiresauto­integrationandself­management

capabilitieswellbeyondtoday’sself­organisingnetworkfeatures,whichhavetobereflectedin

thearchitecturallayertoachievetheirfullpotential.Additionally,ultra­reliablecommunicationsput

verystringentlatencyandreliabilityrequirementsonthearchitecture.

Thewhitepaperisorganisedasfollows.InSection2wedescribethemostimportantchallenges

for5Gnetworks,includingtheriseofnumberofdevices,increasedrequirementsforcapacity,

energyefficiency,infrastructureissuesandvaryingservicerequirementsandcharacteristics.In

Section3wepresentnewtechnologiesthatwillenableussolvethesechallenges,withafocus

onnetworkfunctionvirtualisation,cooperativecommunications,automatednetworkorganisation, flexiblebackhauling,aswellasadvancedtrafficmanagementandoffloading.Weconcludewith

somefinalremarksinSection4.

2. Challenges

Inthissectionwegiveanoverviewofthemainissueschallengefor5Gsystems,asdrivenby

thefastchangingmobilenetworkevolutionandtheforecastexpansionofusecasesand

applications.

2.1 Broad variation of requirements and service characteristics

Themainchallengesfor5Gsystemarethecontinuedevolutionofmobilebroadbandandthe

additionofnewservicese.g.,massivesensorcommunicationandvehicular­to­anything communication,requiringshorterset­uptimesanddelay,aswellasreducedsignallingoverhead

andenergyconsumption[Bal13].Mobilebroadbandofthefuturewillhavesignificantlyincreased

trafficvolumesanddatatransmissionsrates,butalsomanymoreusecases.Theyincludenot onlytrafficbetweenhumansandbetweenhumanandthecloud,butalsobetweenhumans, sensors,andactuatorsintheirenvironment,aswellasbetweensensorsandactuators themselves.Somenewkeyapplicationswithdisruptivecharacteristicsfollow[METISproject

Firstly,massivemachinecommunications(MMC)isenvisioned,whosemainchallengesare

[Fal13,Oss13]:i)tosupport10­100timesmoredevicesthantoday;ii)toallowverylongbattery

lifetimes(ontheorderof5+years)ofthewirelessdevice;iii)toincurminimumsignalling

overhead;iv)toenablelow­costwirelessdevices;v)tosupportefficienttransmissionofsmall

payloadswithfastsetupandlowlatency.Atthesame,itisdesirabletohave99.999%coverage,

whileenergyconsumptionandcostfortheinfrastructureshouldnotincrease.Despitesome

initialworksdone,e.g.,in3GPP[3gpp22.368],theservicerequirementsforthesemachinetype

communicationstorealisetheInternetofThings(IoT)arestillnotfullyunderstood.Thisismostly

duetothemultidisciplinarynatureofIoTapplicationsandthecurrentlackoftruly“massive”and

largescaledeploymentsofsmartobjectsinaneconomicallysustainablemanner.

Secondly,safety­criticaldomains,whichtraditionallyhadtheirprivateinfrastructure,will increasinglyusemobilebroadbandnetworks.Exampleapplicationsare:Assisteddrivingvia

vehicle­to­vehicle(V2V)andvehicle­to­infrastructure(V2I)communications,withautomated

breakingincaseofaccidentoradversetrafficconditionsahead;publicprotectionanddisaster

relief(PPDR)systems;publictransportationautomationandcontrol,e.g.,theInternationalUnion

ofRailwaysisconsideringLTEasadualusetechnologytocomplementandextendthe

“railwaysflavour”ofGSM,calledGSM­R,currentlystandardisedinEuropeforsignallingin

high­speed/high­availabilitytrains;automaticcontrolofsmartgridelements,e.g.,substations

andelectricvehiclechargingstations,tobalancenetworkloadandmitigateinstabilitycausedby,

e.g.,theintroductionofrenewablesourcesofenergy.Suchsafety­criticalapplicationstypically

requireextremelyshortsetuptimesandlowdelays.Also,itisimportanttoachievewide­area

coverage,whichcanbedoneonlythroughasmoothandefficientintegrationwithalternative

technologies,suchassatellitecommunicationsandaerialbasestations[ABSOLUTEproject

Finally,wecanexpectafurthergrowthofmobilecloud­basedapplications,whichhaveunique

characteristicsintermsoflatencyandbandwidth.Infact,themostcomplexapplications(e.g.,

speechrecognition,navigation)areoften,itnotalways,offloadedtoacloudserver,soasto

reducetheprocessingandenergyburdenofmobiledevices.Whilethiseffectivelymakesthe

smartphoneortabletleaner,itstressestheimportanceofareliable,lowlatency,highbandwidth

connectiontotheInternet.

Afinalnoteismadeonvideostreaming,whichisalreadythebiggestcontributortoworldwide traffictoday,atleastinthefixedpartoftheInternet,andisexpectedtoshifttomobilebroadband connectionassoonasthecurrenttechnologiesandbillingplanswillallowthis.Moreover,the

futurevideoencodingandplaybackadvances,including3D,veryhighqualityencoding,4K

resolution,andmulti­angle,willfurtherincreasethecapacityrequirements.

Someexamplesofverydiverserequirementsforsomeusecasesofbusinessandsocial

interestarereportedinthetablebelow.

Requirement

Verystrict

Intermediate

Relaxed

Highbit­rate

Videoequipments

Typicalapplicationson smartphonesand

IoT,V2V

(3DTV,real­time

streamingdevices,

tablets,V2I

remoteconference)

Fastmobility

Applicationsrunningon smartphonesand tabletsontheroad,

V2V/I

Everythingelse

Homeandoffice

appliances,IoT(most)

Highreliability

PPDR,IoT(some),

Everythingelse

­­

V2V/I

Lowlatency

Gameconsoles,IoT

Web&mobileapps,

IoT(some)

(some),V2V/I,PPDR

cloudcomputing

(some)

Lowenergy

IoTdevices(most)

Smartphonesand

Cableddevices

consumption

tablets

2.2 Energy efficiency

Classicaldesignsforwirelesscommunications,whichtendtomaximiserate,capacityand

coverage,potentiallyleadtosolutionswhereenergyefficiencydrops.Energyefficiencyis

understoodfromtwoviewpoints.Ontheonehand,theenergyspentbytheinfrastructuremay

increase,implyinghighoperationalcostsfortheoperatorthatwillindirectlyaffectalsotheinvoice

ofthefinalsusers.Ontheotherhand,somecommunicationstrategiesrequirehigh

computationalburdenattheterminalsidehavingnegativeimpactonbatterylifetime.Hence,the

intelligentuseofenergybecomesamajornewtargetinadditiontotheclassicaldesigncriteria.

Currentlytwoapproachestoreduceenergyconsumptionontheradiolinkexist.First,small cellsreducethedistancetotheterminal.Themainchallengesofthisapproacharerelatedto providinganeconomicbackhaulsolutionandtominimisetheadditionaldeploymentcost.The secondapproachismassiveMIMO,whereenergyismorefocusedtowardstheuserbymeans ofmoredirectivebeams.Inthisway,lessenergyiswastedyieldinginterferenceforotherusers attheend.ThechallengesofmassiveMIMOincludethediffusionofenergyduetoscatteringin NLOSscenarios,limitingtheachievabledirectivity,andthecomplexityofspatialmultiplexingof users.Bothintheterminalandatthebasestation,thegoalofminimisingtheenergy consumptionperbitwillrequireaparadigmshiftinwirelesssystemdesigntodramatically improveefficiencyintermsofpowerandspectrumusage.Furtherresearchonimplementation technologiesisnecessary,focusedonlowpowerhardwarearchitecturesandenergy­efficient signalprocessing[COSTIC1004http://www.ic1004.org/]. Someapproacheshavebeen

proposedonmulti­hopcooperativenetworking,andwirelessnetworkcoding[Car12].

Therearefurtherpotentialsavingsbyoperatingthenetworkwithenergy­efficiencyinmind. Nowadaysbasestationsconsumeaconstantpower,regardlessofthetrafficload.During off­peaktraffichours,smallcellsareswitchedoffwhilecoverageismaintainedbymacro­cells. Foractivebasestationsservingasingleuser,followingShannon’stheorem,themost energy­efficientsituationwouldbetousethefullbandwidthandtoreducepowersothatthe throughputtargetismet.However,aninterference­limitedmulti­userscenarioismoretypicalin mobilenetworks.Servingmultipleusershavingdifferentsignal­to­interferenceratiosinaTDMA fashion­suchasround­robin­,changingthepowerdynamicallywouldresultinunpredictable interferenceinadjacentcells.ThesameholdsforOFDMA,implyinginhomogeneous interferenceondifferentfrequencysub­bands.Hence,currentPHYandMAClayersdesign needstechnologyadvances,includingdynamicpowercontrolthatisoptimallycoordinated amongtheusersandwithsurroundingcellssothatthereisproportionalitybetweenthetraffic

andtheenergyconsumption[5GNOWprojecthttp://www.5gnow.eu/].Thereisaneedfor

networkarchitectureadvancesrequiredtoi)includesmallcellsandlargerantennaarrays

efficientlyintothenetworkdesign,ii)switchon/offbasestationsdependingonthetrafficload;iii)

achievetrafficproportionalityatPHYlayer.

Mobiledeviceswithadvancedcapabilitiessuchassmartphonesortabletsmaypresent

importantrequirementsintermsofenergy,notonlyasfarastransmissionisconcerned(which

dependsforexampleonthedataflows,thetypeofapplicationorthewirelessnetworktopology)

butalsoregardingothercomponentssuchasCPU,screenoraudiodevicesattheuser

equipment.Theoffloadingofapplicationstodayhostedbythemobileterminalstowardsthe

servingbasestationsora(micro)datacentremayalsocontributetoenergyefficiency[TROPIC

projecthttp://www.ict­tropic.eu/].Thisway,theexecutionofresource­hungryapplicationsis

shiftedtoprocessingelementsthathavemoreefficientcomputationalandcachingcapabilities.

Thereisalsoaneedtoreduceenergyconsumptioninthebackhaulnetwork,bothinRANand core,inordertoreducenetworkoperationalcosts.Energyefficiencyinthebackhaulbecomes

increasinglycriticalastheaccesssegmentofthenetworkconsumesupto90%ofthetotal

telecomnetworkenergycost.Historically,thishugenumberisrelatedtotheuseofcopper;with theincreasinguseofopticalfibre,theenergyrequirementisreduced.Theaccessnetworkhasa distributed(tree)topologytoaggregatethetraffic.Theenormousheterogeneityoffixedand wirelessfinal­droptechnologies(i.e.e.g.FTTH,PON,AON,WiFi,WiMAX,UWBetc.)makes economiesofscaleratherproblematic.Moreunifiedandstandardisedfixedaccesssolutions wouldallowmuchhighervolumes,andtherebyhigherintegrationdensities,muchlowercostand reducedenergyconsumption.Forinstance,theuseofanactiveremotenode,originallyput

forwardinEthernetPONs[Chan10],wasrecentlyproposedasacommonplatformfor

fixed­wirelessconvergence[HARPprojecthttp://www.fp7­harp.eu/].Thisnodelocatesthe

networkintelligenceclosertotheend­usersandperformsstatisticalmultiplexingoftrafficfrom

fewerusers,whichallowstohandlelocallysometrafficflows(suchasthesignallingbetween

cooperativebasestations),thereforereducingthebackhaulloadandenablingamore

energy­efficientoperation.Moreover,suchlower­levelaggregationrequireslesspower­hungry

circuitrywhich,inturn,alsomakesitpossibletouserenewableenergysourcesonly.

2.3 Network infrastructure

Smallaccessnodes,withlowtransmitpowerandnopreciseplanningrequirements,are conceivedtobedenselydeployed,resultinginanUltra­DenseNetwork(UDN).Thisapproach willimprovespectralefficiencybyreducingthedistancebetweentransmittersandreceivers,and toimprovemacro­cellservicebyoffloadingwirelesstraffic,thusfreeingradioresourcesinthe

access.Networkdensificationisawaytoincreasethecapacityanddata­ratetowards2020.

UDNsareastepfurthertowardslowcost,plug­and­play,self­configuringandself­optimising

networks.5Gwillneedtodealwithmanymorebasestations,deployeddynamicallyandina

heterogeneousmanner,combiningdifferentradiotechnologiesthatneedtobeflexiblyintegrated. Moreover,amassivedeploymentofsmallaccessnodesinducesseveralchallengessuchasan adverseinterferencescenariooradditionalbackhaulandmobilitymanagementrequirements,

which5Gneedstoaddress[CROWDprojecthttp://www.ict­crowd.eu/].3GPPiscurrently

workingonsmallcellssolutionstoreducetheinter­sitedistance[3gpp36.932]but,atthetime

being,pilotcontaminationandinterferencestilllimitthepossibledensification.Differentlevelsof

coordination/cooperationamongsmallcellsarekeytoenhancethenetworkcapacityandkeep

interferenceatanadequatelevel,tomanagemobilityandspectrum,toensureserviceavailability

andresponsetonon­uniformtrafficdistributionbetweenneighbouringaccesspoints.

Withtheincreasingdensityofnetworks,alsothebackhaulwillbecomemoreheterogeneousand possiblyalsoscenario­dependent(i.e.,fibre,wirelessbackhaulorothernon­idealtypesof backhaulmightbeuseddependingontheiravailability).Inaddition,theconnectivityamongthe networknodesmaychangeinordertoallowforfastdirectexchangeofdatabetweenthem (whichwillbechallenginginultra­densedeployments).Theheterogeneousbackhaulstructure willalsoinfluencetheoperationoftheradioaccessnetworks,e.g.latencydifferenceson backhaullinkswillimpactinter­cellcoordinationandcooperationalgorithms.Therefore,both radioaccessnetworkandbackhaulnetworkneedtobeawareoflimitationsandcapabilitiesof

eachother[TUCAN3Gprojecthttp://www.ict­tucan3g.eu/].Thismayforinstanceimplyan

extendedSONappliedtoradioaccessnetworkswhichalsousesinformationprovidedaboutthe

backhaulnetwork.

Therequiredflexibilityofthenetworkitselfwillrequirenewconceptsonnetworkmanagementin thebackhaulsuchastheapplicationofSoftwareDefinedNetworking(SDN)principlesinorderto

achievefastre­routingandcongestioncontrol,mainlyintheaccesspart[Kre10,Ahm13].SDN

conceptsenableustoadapttheoperationofthebackhaulnetworktotheneedsoftheradio

accessnetwork.Forexample,theselectionofIPbreak­outanchorpointsmaydependonthe

currentbackhaultrafficsituationandQoSrequirementsintheradioaccessnetworks.

Furthermore,thesmallerthecellsintheradioaccessnetwork,thehigherthetemporaland

spatialtrafficfluctuations.Thisimpliesthatalsothebackhaulnetworkmayexperienceahigher

varianceoftraffic.Besides,currenttrendssuggestthatInfrastructureasaService(IaaS)canbe

supportedbysmallcellsinordertoofferinnovativeproximityservicesandtoenableaseriesof

advantagesforendcustomers.Withthisapproach,energy­scarce,capacity­limitedmobile

devicescanoffloadhighlydemandingcomputationaltasksintoproximalfixedunitsorusethem

forstorage.Thisentailsthatnovelmechanismsareneededtoefficientlyallocateresources,

understoodinawidesense(radio/computation/storage/energy),includingcontextualinformation

metricsandclusteringtechniquesforsmallcells.

Anotherimportantaspectinthenetworkinfrastructureisrelatedtotheexposureofendusers to electromagneticfield(EMF).ThereistodayapublicconcernconcerningEMFinducedby wirelessnetworks.Byreducingthedistancebetweenreceiversandtransmitters,smallcells enabletheminimisationof thepoweremittedbythemobilesphonesandthetotalEMFexposure

because,currently,themostimportantcontributionislinkedtotheuserequipment.5G

architecture­combining smallcells,heterogeneousnetworksandoffloading­shouldinherently enableminimisingthehumanEMFexposure[LEXNETprojecthttp://www.lexnet­project.eu/].

3. New enabling technologies

Inthissectionweintroducethemostpromisingenablingtechnologiesthatareexpectedtobe

usedextensivelyin5Gradionetworkstotacklethechallengesidentifiedabove.

3.1 Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV)

NetworkFunctionsVirtualisation(NFV)[Nfv12]referstotheimplementationofnetworkfunctions

insoftwarerunningongeneralpurposecomputing/storageplatforms.Thisapproachallowsthe

deploymentofnetworkfunctionsindatacentresandtoleveragefromvirtualisationtechniques.

Bycontrast,thestate­of­the­artistoimplementnetworkfunctionsondedicatedand

application­specifichardware.Hence,themainmotivationforNFVistoleveragefromthe

economyofscaleofhigh­volumehardwareplatforms,toreducetime­to­marketandinnovation

cycleswithintelecommunicationnetworksthroughsoftwareupdatesratherthanhardware

updates,andtoexploitnoveldatacentretechnology.NFVhasrecentlyattractedsignificant

interestfromtheindustry,whichhasledtothecreationofadedicateindustrystudygroupat

ETSI.

ImplementingnetworkfunctionsinsoftwareonstandardITplatformswillallowfornewflexibilities inoperatingandmanagingmobilenetworks.Inmobilenetworks,NFViscurrentlydiscussedin

thecontextofvirtualisingthecorenetwork[You13]aswellaslogicallycentralisingthebaseband

processingwithintheRAN,so­calledCloudRAN(C­RAN)[Gua10].C­RANstillrequires

specialisedhardwareindatacentresinordertosatisfythehardreal­timerequirementsinmobile

networks.Furthermore,C­RANdoesnotallowforafunctionaldecompositionwhichimpliesthat

theRANfunctionsaredecomposedinindividualmoduleswhichmaythenbemanagedand

operatedondifferent(virtual)machinesandprovidedbydifferentsoftwarevendors.While

C­RANenablesbothfullcentralisationanddistributionof(digital)RANfunctions,thisneedsnot

tobethecasewithageneralNFVimplementationwhereonlyasubsetofallmodulesmaybe

implementedcentrallyortheradioaccesspointsimplementallfunctionsbasedongeneral

purposehardware[iJOINProjecthttp://www.ict­ijoin.eu].

Anotherimportanttopicinmobilenetworkswhichmaybeimprovedbyimplementingnetwork

functionsinadatacentreisresilience.Thisallowsforre­assigningfunctionsbetweeneither

virtualorrealmachines.Forexample,ratherthanrunningfunctionsinadatacentre,theymaybe

runinaRadioAccessPoint(RAP)atlowercomputationalcomplexity[TROPICproject

http://www.ict­tropic.eu/].Furthermore,NFVandimplementingmobilenetworkfunctionsindata

centresallowsmoreflexibilityintermsofresourcemanagement,assignment,andscaling.This

hasalsoanimpactontheenergyefficiencyofnetworksasonlytherequiredamountof

resourcesmaybeusedandover­provisioningofresourcescanbeavoided.Thisresource

orchestrationcouldreusemanagementalgorithmsalreadydevelopedintheITworldinorderto

exploitresourcesasefficientlyaspossible.

Asmentioned,NFVisalreadyappliedoncorenetworksandfirsttrialsareperformed

demonstratingthatcriticalmobilenetworkfunctionssuchasMME,HGW/PGW,orHSScanbe

implementedonstandardITplatforms.Acriticalenablerofthisdevelopmentis,besides virtualisationtechnologies,theavailabilityofhigh­speedIPnetworksandthepossibilityto managethemmoreflexiblythroughSDN.Interestonthelatterisconfirmedbytherecent foundationofaworkinggrouponwirelessandmobilewithintheOpenNetworkingFoundation, whichistheorganisationthathasstandardisedOpenFlow.IncaseofRANs,NFVmaybemore difficulttoapplyasitiseitherapplieddirectlywithinnetworknodessuchasRAPsoratmore centralisedlocationswhichrequireshigh­performanceconnectionsbetweenRAPsanddata centres.Thoseconnectionsmaynotbeavailableatalllocationswhichimposesnewchallenges onimplementationsofNFVinRANandmanagingnetworkscomposedofheterogeneous networknodes(macro­,metro­,andpico­cells),heterogeneousbackhaul­connectivity(optical

fibre,DSL,wireless),aswellasheterogeneouslocationofRANfunctions[Sab13,Ber13,

Ros14].

3.2 Cooperative communications

Recently,multi­hoprelaycommunicationhasbeengainingglobalacceptanceasoneofthe

mostpromisingtechnologiesinnext­generationwirelesscellularnetworks[She09,Wij09,

Loa10].Present­daycellularsystemshaveasingledirectlinkbetweenthebasestationandthe

terminal.Inamulti­hopwirelessnetwork,thecommunicationtakesplaceoveroneormorelinks

(hops)toformamulti­hoppathbetweenthetransmitterandthereceiver.Multi­hopcooperative

networkshavethecapabilitytoincreasethecapacitydensityandtoreduceenergyconsumption

bybringingtheRANclosertotheend­user[ABSOLUTEprojecthttp://www.absolute­project.eu/].

Comparedtotheexistinglayeredprotocols,whichincludemechanismssuchas

retransmissionsormultipleacknowledgements,multi­hopnetworksovercomesuch

inefficienciesandpreventthesemechanismsfromscalingasrequiredforhighcapacitydensity

accessnetworks.However,multi­hopnetworksoftensufferathroughputpenaltysincethe

nodesoperateinahalf­duplexmodeandthereforenecessarilyintroduceinefficiencyinspectrum

usage,asmultipletimeslotsarerequiredtoreceiveandthenrelaytheinformation.Another

problemisthelatencyduetomultiplehops.Ontheotherhand,wirelessnetworkcodinghas

thepotentialofnaturallyadaptingtoproblemsrelatedtodense,cloud­like,massively­interacting

networksofnodes,sinceitisanexampleofthegeneralconceptof“network­awarephysical

layer”:functionslikerouting,conventionallyperformedathighlayersoftheprotocolstack,are

moreefficientlycarriedoutatthephysicallayer,whichhasthecapabilityofprocessingsignals

directlyandwithoutlossofinformation.Bylookingatmultiplecommunicationflowsjointly,

insteadofasingleflowatthetime,wirelessnetworkcodingcanovercometheefficiencyand

latencyissuesmentionedbeforeforgeneralmulti­hopnetworks.

Furthermore,storingthedataattheedgeofthenetwork,i.e.,caching,willbeapromisingwayof

reachinghighcapacityin5Gsystems[MOTOprojecthttp://www.fp7­moto.eu/].Infact,inspiteof

increasingthewirelessnetworkcapacitybyemployingadvancedPHYtechniques,highdata

ratesmightstillnotbeachievableduetothelimitedbackhaul.Sincebasestationshavetoserve

usersbybringingtheirrequestedcontentfromtheInternetthroughthebackhaul,thecapacityof

thisbackhaulshouldalsobeinthesameorderofthewirelessnetworkcapacity,inordertoavoid

ratebottlenecks,whichareespeciallyevidentindenselydeployedsmall­cellscenarioswhere low­ratebackhaullinksarepreferredinsteadoffibre­opticconnectionsduetodeploymentand operationalcosts.Equipping(small­cell)basestationsinsuchdeploymentswithstorageunits

andproactivelycachingthecontentdefinitelyhelpstomitigatethisbottleneck[Bas13]and

benefitscanbebroughtfurtherbyenablingdirectaccessofUEcachesandleveragingsocial

networksviadevice­to­device(D2D)communications.Moreover,whenusingnon­ideal

backhaul,e.g.xDSL,thethroughputisveryasymmetrical,stronglylimitingtheusertrafficand affectingthelatencyoftheinter­basestationcommunicationneededformostoftheapplicable coordinatedmultipoint(CoMP)techniques.Theoretically,thislimitationcanbeovercomeby consideringover­the­airmeshcommunicationforsignallingbetweenbasestations[COST

IC1004http://www.ic1004.org/].However,thistypeofcommunicationinherentlyrequires

researchonmany­to­manynetworkarchitecturesandprotocols,whicharefundamentally

differentfromtheexistingone­to­manyapproach.

Thelargeuserdatatrafficdemandinconventionalwirelesscommunicationsystemstendsto increasethenumberofrequiredaccesspointsorbasestationsperareainanetwork,inducing anadversescenariowherecommunicationsareseverelyaffectedbyinterference.Onewayof improvingthespectralefficiencyofthesystemistheuseofadvancedcoordination/ cooperativeschemesamongtransmittersinordertocombatthegeneratedinterference.In LTE­AdvancedanditsevolutionstheseschemesareknownasCoMP.Coordinationof transmittersbyexchangingcontrol­planemessagesandinterferencealignment­based transmissionsolutionsareunderinvestigation [5GNOWprojecthttp://www.5gnow.eu/].Another wayofimprovingthespectralefficiencyistoenhancethespatialreuseofradioresourceswhen

D2Dcommunicationisallowedforterminalsinthesameradiorange.Thissolutiongenerates

additionalinterference,buttheinvolvedterminalsemploymuchlesspowerthanthebase

stations,whichmeansthatalowerlevelofinterferencecanbeexpected.

Alsoconcerningthelimitationsrelatedtotheenhancedinter­cellinterferencecoordination

(eICIC)mechanismsinthecaseofsmallcelldeployments,currentresearchsuggestsamore

flexibleinterferencecoordinationapproachintime­frequencyandpowerdomainswhich,when

usedinconjunctionwithasimpleICIC­basedRadioResourceManagement(RRM),hasthe

meritofsignificantlyincreaseduserthroughput.Forinstance,eachbasestationcancreateits

owncollaboratingmicro­cluster,composedbythe(mutually)interferingbasestationsin

downlink:theinformationonresourceandpowerallocationisdistributedbyeachcelltoits

micro­clusterpeerstooptimiseaccesstocommonresources.Thiscouldbefurtherextended

bysharingwithineachmicro­cluster,e.g.,theuserlocationorotherrelevantinformation.

Weconcludebynotingthatthemobilenetworkinfrastructuresarecurrentlyevolvingtoreduce therange,hencethesizeandcomplexity,ofbasestations,whileincreasingthenumberand bandwidthofthephysicalconnectionsbetweensmallercellsites.Thewidedeploymentof opticalcommunicationsnetworks,withfibreconnectionsclosertotheendusers,makesense alsoforwidebandconnectionsbetweensmallcells,changingthecurrentbasicconceptof traffic­scaledcellulardeploymenttoamodernviewofopportunisticspectrum­accessbased

cooperativenetworking[Car12].Inconjunctiontothiscooperativesmall­cellsscenario,the

terminalwillbeactingasalocalaccessenabler,managingradiocommunicationsnotonlyfrom

theuserbutalsofromsurroundingsmartobjects.Radionetworkarchitecturescanthen

considertheroaminguserdevice(onthebus,inthestreet,insidethecar,athome,etc.)asan

IoTrelaynodeabletoprovidecoverageextensionandtoactasagatewaytotheInternetforthe

IP­enabledsmartobjects.

3.3 Automated Network Organisation

Currenttrendsinthedefinitionof5Gwirelesssystemsrelyonevolvingheterogeneousnetworks

where macro­cells are overlaid with small cells to deliver improved spectral efficiency and coverage within an area. Such coexistence imposes difficulties to the traditional network planning,wherenewsitelocationsaresetbasedonexpensiveandlimitedtestsoftenbasedon propagation models that may be inaccurate. Furthermore, achieving and maintainingoptimal performance in future cellular systems will become virtually impossible with manual configuration, optimisation, and maintenance due to their incremental densification, which involves a rise of the number of parameters involved, as well as latency and accuracy limitations. In the past, automated network organisation has been addressed via, e.g., SON proposals,whichhaveemergedasapossiblesolutionfortheissuesmentionedabove.SON has shown itself as a paradigm that can reduce OPEX and CAPEX while yielding optimal

performanceinLTE[Ham12].

Self­configuration,automaticneighbourrelation,self­organisedcarrierselection,andself­healing mechanismsareexamplesofautomatednetworkorganisationtechniques.Self­configuration, forinstance,(i.e.,automaticconfigurationofemissionpower,antennatilt,etc.)allowsnewly addedbasestationstobeself­configuredinlinewitha"plug­and­play"paradigm,whichis particularlyimportantinthecaseofsmallcells.Inaddition,asfarascostsfornetworkplanning anddeploymentareconcerned,suchtechniquescanalsoalleviatetheburdenofoperators comingfrommanuallymanagingneighbourrelations.Indeed,automaticneighbourrelation (ANR)wasthefirstSONtechniquetobeincludedintheLTEspecifications.Incontrasttolegacy networks,whereasignificantamountoftimeandresourcesisneededtoidentifyfailingbase

stationsandfixsuchasituation,5Gsystemsshouldhaveself­healingfunctionsbuiltin.Thiswill

allowthemtodetectfailingbasestationsimmediatelyandtotakefurthermeasureswhile

ensuringnosignificantdegradationofservicefortheusers.Finally,self­organisingcarrier

selectionandinterferencemanagementwillhelptoreducecostandimproveservicereliability.

Automationseemstheonlysensibleapproachtocost­effectivemanagementoffuture

operationallycomplexheterogeneousmobileaccessnetworks.Thekeyenablingelementisa

unifiedself­managementsystem,whichcontrolsthecomplexnetworkenvironmentasasingle

entity.Thisself­managementsystemshallenablethenetworkoperatortospecify

network­orientedobjectivesregarding,e.g.,desiredservicecoverage,resourceefficiencyand

qualityofexperience,andshalleffectuatetheseobjectivesintheunifiedandautomated

optimisationoftheunderlyingintegratedaccessnetworks.Theself­managementshallthen

performresourcemanagementandtunetheradioparametersofmobileaccessnetworksinline

withnetwork­operator­definedtargets.

Suchaunifiedmanagementsystemwillprovideconsiderablegainstotheoperatorsintermsof (i)enhancedresourceefficiency,implyingincreasedcapacityandhencedelayedinvestmentsin networkexpansionsand/orequipmentupgrades;(ii)improvedmanageabilityandhencelower operationalcosts; (iii)enhancedperformanceintermsofserviceavailability,seamlesssession continuityanduser­levelqualityofexperienceand(iv)enhancedconfigurationflexibility,therefore supportingdifferentresourceutilisationstrategiesandfasttransitionsincaseofredefinitionof networktargets.Interestingly,automatisednetworkcontrollersandSDNtechniquesoffera promisingpracticalparadigmtoimplementaunifiedmanagementsystem.Furthermore,an SDN­basedapproachgoesbeyondamereunifiedmanagementsystem,andindeedprovides toolsforjointlyorchestratingradioandbackhaulresourcesondemand,workingatthetimescale ofIPflows[CROWDprojecthttp://www.ict­crowd.eu/].However,theapplicabilityandsuitability ofSDNforfuturedensewirelessnetworksiscurrentlyunderinvestigation,andindustry­grade softwareandinterfacesforSDNoperationarestilltobestudiedanddesigned,asmentionedin

Section3.1.

Thefollowingisadescriptionofthetwokeyelementsforfutureunifiedself­managementsystem

ThefirstelementistheintegratedSONManagement,aspresentedinthefigurebelow.The

toppartdepictsaserviceprovider,whichmaintainsaServiceLevelAgreement(SLA)witha

networkoperator,contractuallyformalisingtheiragreementregardingperformanceandtariffs.

Integratingsuchperformance

obligationswithitsownbusiness

strategy,theoperatorformulatesits

network­orientedobjectivesand

providestheseasaninputtothe

integratedSONmanagementlayer,

whichservesasitsinterfacetothe

self­managementsystem.Thekey

purposesofthislayerare(i)to

transformtheseobjectivesinto

dedicatedexecutionpoliciesfor

specificSONfunctions;(ii)to

superviseandcoordinatethese

SONfunctions;and(iii)tomonitor

andanalysetheirperformance

accordingtotheobjectives,

providinginputtoperiodicoperator

reports,SONmanagement,SON

functionsanddecisionsupport

systems.

providinginputtoperiodicoperator reports,SONmanagement,SON functionsanddecisionsupport systems. 11/18

ThesecondelementisSingle/multi­RAT/layerSONfunctions.Thesewillresideatthe functionallayerbelowtheintegratedSONmanagement(seefigureabove).TheseSON functionscontrolthephysicalnetworkresourcesindifferentRATsandlayersandcanbe implementedinadistributedfashioninthenetworkelements,orinacentralisedfashioninthe networkmanagementsystem.NumerousSONfunctionshavebeendevelopedsofar,including mobilityrobustnessoptimisation(MRO)andmobilityloadbalancing(MLB)SONfunctions.They mostlyfocusonsingle­RAT/layerscenarios.FutureSONfunctionswillbeneededtotarget multi­RAT/layerSONfunctions,addressingamongstothersadvancedtrafficsteeringbetween

WiFiand3G/LTEcellularlayers,dynamicallocationofspectrumoverRATsandlayers,andthe

automated(de)activationandtuningofsitesectorisation.

3.4 Flexible backhauling

3Gand4Gusedifferentbackhaulingtechnologies(e.g.opticalfibre,microwavelinksorevena

satellitelink)butineverycasethebackhaulisseenasproviding“enough”QoS(qualityof

service)andasmuchcapacityastheRANmayrequire.5GRANbecomesmore

heterogeneous,thusrequiringflexibletopologyandperformancefromthebackhaul[e.g.iJOIN

Projecthttp://www.ict­ijoin.eu].Thebackhaulfor5Gneedshigherflexibilityalsotounlockthe

potentialofincreased,moreefficientandmoreflexiblespectrumusageandtosupportnew

applications.

Carrieraggregationandtheuseofmorefrequencybandswillleadtoanincreasedmobile

spectrumusagein5G.Newradiotechnologieswillenablesignificantlyhigherspectrum

efficiencybyusinginter­sitecoordinatedmultipoint,smallcellsandmassiveMIMO.Sharingof both,thespectrumandthemobileinfrastructurewillenablestatisticalmultiplexinggainsforthe spectrumusageaswellasincreaseddensityofbasestationsperoperatorwithouttheneedfor newsites.Bothapproachesneedasharedbackhaulnetworkusedbymobileoperators.Sharing willfurtherincreasethecurrentheterogeneityofthenetworkandwillbringnewspecific

requirements.Lastbutnotleast,newapplicationssuchasthe“tactilemobileInternet”[Fet13]for

thesupportofIoTwillalsohaveabigimpactonthemobilebackhaulevolution.

Themobilebackhaulevolutionfor5Gisexpectedtofollowfivemajortrends:Opennetwork

architecture,end­to­endsupportforQoSandsecurity,significantlyhigherdatarates,reduced

latencyandnetwork­assistedsynchronisation.Opennetworksenableasharedinfrastructurein

whichmultipleoperatorscontributetoasharedoverallnetwork.Inafirststep,operators

integratetheirproprietaryinfrastructureintotheoverallnetwork.Virtualisationtoolsarethen

installedenablingtheformationofcoexistingvirtualsubnetworks.Inathirdstep,theoverall

networkresourcesaredynamicallydistributedamongtheoperators.Distributioncanbe

managedusinganeutralbrokertradingthepriceofmutualresourceutilisationbythe

sub­networksaccordingtoofferanddemand.

The5GRANneedstoverifyactivelyanddynamicallythesupportedQoSandtheavailable

capacityinthebackhaul.Signallingbetweenthebackhauland/orreal­timeQoSmeasurements

performedbytheRANwillbeessentialtoguaranteeQoStoendusers.Thenativesupportfor

MMCwillrequirelowerlatency.Guaranteedbandwidth,latencyandend­to­endsecurity unaffectedbyotherusers’demandswillbeneeded.Forlowerlatency,forexample,

instantaneoushandoverisneeded.ButthedatatransferoverX2orsimilarevolvedinterfacesto

thenewservingbaseincludesprivateuserdata.Thisisalsotrueforcoordinatedmultipoint

[Fri12].Obviously,thecurrentsecurityarchitectureneedstoberevised.

Dataratesofthe5Gairinterfacewillbeincreasedbyafactor1000,comparedtoLTE.The

backhaulwillfollowthistrend,obviously.Evenmore,inter­sitecoordinatedmultipointenablesa

gainoffactor3byexchanginguserdataintheclustersbetween3cellsatdistantsites,on

average.Accordingly,thefactorbecomes3000inthe5Gbackhaul.Several100Gb/spersite

willbeneeded[Jun13].Althoughtechnologiesexistorarealreadydeveloped,costisanissue.

Low­costandhigh­performancebackhaulsolutionswillalsobeneededforsmallcells,bothfor

LOSandNLOSdeploymentscenarios[SODALESprojecthttp://www.fp7­sodales.eu/].

Minimiseddelayisadriverforthebackhaulevolution.ConsideringLTE,handoverlatencyis

duetoframingdelaysandtheX2interface[Dim09],duetothecentralisedsecurityarchitecture

[Fri12].Adistributedsecuritywillbeneededtoprotectprivateuserdatawhilereducingthe

latency.Further,thehoplengthsbetweennodescanbeminimisedbydistributingtheintelligence inthenetwork.Activeswitcheswillbeplacedinallaggregationnodessothatsignalscanbe routedthroughtheshortestpathtootherports.Flexibledistributedvirtualisationforcoordinated

multipointisdescribedin[Kre10].Extendedwithend­to­endencryptionandguaranteed

bandwidth,itisagoodexamplewhatisneededalsofortheIoT.

Synchronisationisneededforhigherspectralefficiencyusingcoordinatedmultipointandto

minimisedelays[SODALESprojecthttp://www.fp7­sodales.eu/].GPSsynchronisationisan

exampleofadistributedapproach,see[Irm11].Howevernetworkoperatorscurrentlypreferthe

IEEE1588precisiontimeprotocol(PTP)overthebackhaulbecauseitisapplicablealsoto

indoordeployments.Notethatthereferenceclockispassedoverseveralaggregationnodes fromagrandmastertoeachbasestation.Nativesupportfornetwork­widesynchronisationis

thereforeneededineachaggregationnode[Jun13].

3.5 Advanced traffic management & offloading

Tohandletheexplosionofmobilewirelessdataoffloadingtechniqueshavebeenproposedto

improvetheuserexperienceforcellularservicesinoverloadedareas.Offloadingtechniques

towardstheend­usereitherthroughWiFi(outdoor)infrastructuresandfemto­cellsarecurrently

beingapplied.NewstandardssuchasSelectiveIPTrafficOffloading(SIPTO),LocalIPAccess

(LIPA)andIPflowmobility(IFO)arebeingproposedtooptimisethedatatransferfrom­tothe

mobiledevicestotheInternet.

However,thenetworkdensificationenvisagedin5Gisactuallyintroducingaparadigmshiftthat

thenextgenerationtrafficoffloadingtechniqueswillhavetotakeintoaccount.Networkuplinkand

downlinkasymmetrywillincreasein5G,hencetheywillneedtobeconsideredastwo

independentconnections.Infact,manymobilesmayfindmoreefficientenergyand

throughput­wisetoassociatetotwodifferentPointsofAccess(PoAs)foruplinkanddownlink communications,respectively.Moreworkisrequiredtobetterunderstandhowtoassigntrafficto eachRANunderrealisticnetworkloadingmodelsanddealingwithdiversetypesoftraffic(e.g., balancingQoSfordata,voiceoverIPandvideostreamingforinstance).Today,dataoffloading modifiestheservicerate,whichmakesthenetrateoptimisationproblemforallusersunder dynamictrafficoffloadingverycomplex.Furtheroffloadingisonlypossibleifoneusestheuser equipmentasarelaywithinacell,oracrossseveralcells,buildingupontherecent

developmentsinD2DcommunicationsinanLTE­Ainfrastructure.StrategiesforD2Dpath

establishment,orformanagingopportunisticD2Dcommunicationsneedtobefurther

investigated[MOTOprojecthttp://www.fp7­moto.eu/].

Furthermore,5Gnetworkswiththedrasticincreaseintrafficloadandnumberofdevices

connectedwillstarttoexperiencealsoabackhaulbottleneckbeyondthecurrentdatacapacity shortageexperiencedbycustomersinthewirelessaccesssegment.Offloadingtechniqueswill alsoneedtoincreasinglycombineandcoordinatemassiveantennaconfigurationswith strategiesfordecreasingtheloadonthebackhaul,e.g.,throughfemto­catching,out­of­band

contentloading,andincreasedD2Dopportunisticcommunications.Thedensificationofthe

infrastructureincludesanadditionalchallengeforeffectivemanagementofoffloadingmobility,in

termsofnetworkassociation.Tomakereal­timedecisionsregardingselectiveoffloading,

increasedapplication,deviceandsubscriberawarenessarerequiredtoeffectivelymanagethe

wholeprocess.Consistentuserexperienceandservicecontinuityindependentofthedata

offloadingsolutionsimplemented(femto,WiFi,opportunistic,IPflowmobility,IPlayer

management)demandstransparentsign­onsolutionsacrossmanagedandheterogeneous

networkinfrastructures.Hence,roamingagreementmanagementacrossWiFinetworksisan

importantissue.Seamlesssessionhandoveradditionallydemandsnetworkreadinesspriorto

devicereadiness.

4. Final remarks

Asuddenchangeofthesystemrequirementsisexpectedinthenextyears,whichneedsan equallyfastreactiontoadaptthenetworkarchitectureandprotocolssoastoefficientlysupport eachusecase.Unfortunately,thetypicaldurationofthelifecyclefromtheanalysisof

requirementstothefull­scaledeploymentofatechnologyisintheorderof7­10yearsinthe

telecommunicationsindustry,whichisincompatiblewiththedesiredtimehorizonofsomeuse

case.Forexample,manyIoTapplicationscouldbringsignificanteconomicandsocialimpact

alreadytodaysincetheyarebasedonmaturetechnology(exceptforcommunications).

5Gsolutionswillhavetoenableservice­awareoptimalcoverage,capacity,andreliabilitywith

lowestcostandenergyconsumption[METISprojecthttps://www.metis2020.com/].Different

scenariosmayrequiredifferentgroupingoffunctionstonetworkelements.Thetrade­off

betweencentralisingnetworkfunctions(whosemainbenefitsare:resourcepooling,easier

deploymentandmanagement,andglobaloptimisation)anddecentralisingthemtowardsthe

networkedges(achievingfasterreaction,incrementalcommissioning,andpotentiallylower

signallingoverhead)mustbeinvestigated,e.g.,whichfunctionsmaybecombinedincommon

RANelementstoachieveoptimalperformance.

Inaddition,itisnotonlyamatteroffurtheroptimisationoftheradioconnectionitself.Thenew classofservicesandserviceprovidersrequiresamoreopenandservice­awarenetwork structureinordertocustomisethenetworkresourcesandthemanagementofthenetwork(or partsthereof).Itisalsoverylikelythatthereisnosinglenetworkarchitecturethatcansupportall

ofthe5Gscenariosinacost­efficientmanner:“onesizefitsall”islikelynotviable!

Thefuturenetworkarchitecturewillalsobescenarioandtestcasespecific,i.e.,itmaybe

differentinareaswithlowcelldensitycomparedtoultra­densedeployments,suchas

Mega­Cities.ThefutureRANarchitecturewillincludedenselydeployedheterogeneousradio

accessnodesprovidedbynetworkoperators,accessnodesprivatelyinstalled,andevenmoving

accessnodes.ManyofthenodeswillsupportmultipleheterogeneousRATsand

software­definedinterfaces.Furthermore,datacommunicationsandmanagementofthe

networkwillbebasedonaunifiedall­IPnetwork.

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Acronyms

3GPP ThirdGenerationPartnershipProject

MMC

MassiveMachineCommunications

ANR

AutomaticNeighbourRelation

MME

MobilityManagementEntity

AON

ActiveOpticalNetwork

MRO

MobilityRobustnessOptimisation

CAPEX CapitalExpenditures

NFV

NetworkFunctionVirtualisation

CoMP CoordinatedMultipoint

CPU

C­RAN CloudRadioAccessNetwork

CentralProcessingUnit

NLOS NonLineofSight

OrthogonalFrequencyDivision OFDMA MultipleAccess

OPEX OperationalExpenditures

D2D

DevicetoDevice

PGW

PacketdatanetworkGateway

DSL

DigitalSubscriberLine

PON

PassiveOpticalNetwork

eICIC enhancedInter­cellInterferenceCoordination

PPDR PublicProtectionDisasterRelief

EMF

ElectromagneticField

PTP

PrecisionTimeProtocol

FTTH FibreToTheHome

QoS

QualityofService

GPS

GlobalPositioningSystem

RAN

RadioAccessNetwork

HGW

HomeGateway

RAP

RadioAccessPoint

HSPA HighSpeedPacketAccess

RRM

RadioResourceManagement

HSS

HomeSubscriberServer

SDN

SoftwareDefinedNetwork

IaaS

InfrastructureasaService

SIPTO SelectiveIPTrafficOffloading

IEEE

InstituteofElectricalandElectronicsEngineers SON

SelfOrganisingNetwork

IFO

IPFlowmobility

TDMA TimeDivisionMultipleAccess

IP

InternetProtocol

UDN

UltraDenseNetwork

 

UniversalMobile

IT

InformationTechnology

UMTS

TelecommunicationsSystem

LIPA

LocalIPAccess

UWB

UltraWideband

LOS

LineofSight

V2I

VehicletoInfrastructure

LTE

LongTermEvolution

V2V

VehicletoVehicle

MAC

MediumAccessControl

WiFi

WirelessFidelity

MIMO

MultipleInputMultipleOutput

WorldwideInteroperabilityfor WiMAX MicrowaveAccess

MLB

MobilityLoadBalancing

Acknowledgments

RASclusterchairedbyPauloMarques(CRS­i­http://www.ict­crsi.eu/)

WhitepapereditedbyClaudioCicconetti(CROWD)withcontributionsfrom:

GerhardWunder(5GNOW­http://www.5gnow.eu/)

IsabelleBucaille(ABSOLUTE­http://www.absolute­project.eu/)

NarcísCardona(COSTIC1004­http://www.ic1004.org/)

VincenzoMancuso,MartinDräxlerandAntoniodelaOliva(CROWD­http://www.ict­crowd.eu/)

TharmRatnarajahandLarsDittmann(HARP­http://www.fp7­harp.eu/)

PeterRostandAlbertBanchs(iJOIN­http://www.ict­ijoin.eu/) JoeWiart(LEXNET­http://www.lexnet­project.eu/)

AfifOsseiranandHugoTullberg(METIS­https://www.metis2020.com/)

OscarLazaroandDamienLavaux(MOTO­http://www.fp7­moto.eu/)

EjderBaştuğandMérouaneDebbah(NEWCOM#­http://www.newcom­project.eu/)

ColinWillcock(SEMAFOUR­http://fp7­semafour.eu/)

VolkerJungnickel(SODALES­http://www.fp7­sodales.eu/)

FeliciaLobillo,AntonioPascual­Iserte,AdriánAgustín,OlgaMuñoz,andMarianaGoldhamer (TROPIC­http://www.ict­tropic.eu/)

JosepVidal,DavidChavez,andFrancisco­JavierSimó­Reigadas(TUCAN3G­

) JosepVidal,DavidChavez,andFrancisco­JavierSimó­Reigadas(TUCAN3G­ http://www.ict­tucan3g.eu/ ) 18/18