Future RAN architecture: SD-RAN through a general-purpose processing platform

Zaidi, Z., Friderikos, V. and Imran, M. A. (2015) Future RAN architecture: SD-RAN through a general-purpose processing platform. IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, 10(1), pp. 52-60. (doi:10.1109/MVT.2014.2380632)

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Abstract

In this article, we identify and study the potential of an integrated deployment solution for energy-efficient cellular networks combining the strengths of two very active current research themes: 1) software-defined radio access networks (SD-RANs) and 2) decoupled signaling and data transmissions, or beyond cellular green generation (BCG2) architecture, for enhanced energy efficiency. While SD-RAN envisions a decoupled centralized control plane and data-forwarding plane for flexible control, the BCG2 architecture calls for decoupling coverage from the capacity and coverage provided through an always-on low-power signaling node for a larger geographical area; the capacity is catered by various on-demand data nodes for maximum energy efficiency. In this article, we show that a combined approach that brings both specifications together can not only achieve greater benefits but also facilitate faster realization of both technologies. We propose the idea and design of a signaling controller that acts as a signaling node to provide always-on coverage, consuming low power, and at the same time host the control plane functions for the SDRAN through a general-purpose processing platform. The phantom cell concept is also a similar idea where a normal macrocell provides interference control to densely deployed small cells, although our initial results show that the integrated architecture has a much greater potential for energy savings than phantom cells.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Imran, Professor Muhammad
Authors: Zaidi, Z., Friderikos, V., and Imran, M. A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Journal Name:IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine
Publisher:IEEE
ISSN:1556-6072
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 IEEE
First Published:First published in IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine 10(1): 52-60
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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