Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is making their way into the fifth generation of mobile communications. For example, 3GPP is embracing the concept of Control-User Plane Separation (a cornerstone concept in SDN) in the 5G core and the Radio Access Network (RAN). In this paper we introduce a flexible, programmable, and open-source SDN platform for heterogeneous 5G RANs. The platform builds on an open protocol that abstracts the technology-dependent aspects of the radio access elements, allowing network programmers to deploy complex management tasks as policies on top of a programmable logically centralized controller. We implement the proposed solution as an extension to the 5G-EmPOWER platform and release the software stack (including the southbound protocol) under a permissive APACHE 2.0 License. Finally, the effectiveness of the platform is assessed through three reference use cases: active network slicing, mobility management, and load-balancing.
5G-EmPOWER: A Software-Defined Networking Platform for 5G Radio Access Networks / Coronado, Estefania; Khan, Shah Nawaz; Riggio, Roberto. - In: IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON NETWORK AND SERVICE MANAGEMENT. - ISSN 1932-4537. - 16:2(2019), pp. 715-728. [10.1109/TNSM.2019.2908675]