Current trends in broadband mobile networks are addressed towards the placement of different capabilities at the edge of the mobile network in a centralised way. On one hand, the split of the eNB between baseband processing units and remote radio headers makes it possible to process some of the protocols in centralised premises, likely with virtualised resources. On the other hand, mobile edge computing makes use of processing and storage capabilities close to the air interface in order to deploy optimised services with minimum delay. The confluence of both trends is a hot topic in the definition of future 5G networks. The full centralisation of both technologies in cloud data centres imposes stringent requirements to the fronthaul connections in terms of throughput and latency. Therefore, all those cells with limited network access would not be able to offer these types of services. This paper proposes a solution for these cases, based on the placement of processing and storage capabilities close to the remote units, which is especially well suited for the deployment of clusters of small cells. The proposed cloud-enabled small cells include a highly efficient microserver with a limited set of virtualised resources offered to the cluster of small cells. As a result, a light data centre is created and commonly used for deploying centralised eNB and mobile edge computing functionalities. The paper covers the proposed architecture, with special focus on the integration of both aspects, and possible scenarios of application.
Introducing Mobile Edge Computing Capabilities through Distributed 5G Cloud Enabled Small Cells / O., Fajardo; F., Liberal; I., Giannoulakis; E., Kafetzakis; V., Pii; I., Trajkovska; T. M., Bohnert; Goratti, Leonardo; Riggio, Roberto; J., Garcia Lloreda; P., Sayyad Khodashenas; M., Paolino; P., Bliznakov; J., Perez Romero; C., Meani; I., Chochliouros; M., Belesioti. - In: MOBILE NETWORKS AND APPLICATIONS. - ISSN 1572-8153. - 21:4(2016), pp. 564-574. [10.1007/s11036-016-0752-2]