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Achieving End-to-End Reliability of Mission-Critical Traffic in Softwarized 5G Networks

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Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number3
Early online date10 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Network softwarization is a major paradigm shift, which enables programmable and flexible system operation in challenging use cases. In the fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks, the more advanced scenarios envision transfer of high-rate mission-critical traffic. Achieving end-to-end reliability of these stringent sessions requires support from multiple radio access technologies and calls for dynamic orchestration of resources across both radio access and core network segments. Emerging 5G systems can already offer network slicing, multi-connectivity, and end-to-end quality provisioning mechanisms for critical data transfers within a single software-controlled network. While these individual enablers are already in active development, a holistic perspective on how to construct a unified, service-ready system as well as understand the implications of critical traffic on serving other user sessions is not yet available. Against this background, the paper first introduces a softwarized 5G architecture for end-to-end reliability of mission-critical traffic. Then, a mathematical framework is contributed to model the process of critical session transfers in a softwarized 5G access network and the corresponding impact on other user sessions is quantified. Finally, a prototype hardware implementation is completed to investigate the practical effects of supporting mission-critical data in a softwarized 5G core network as well as substantiate the key system design choices.


  • 5G network function virtualization, fifth-generation mobile systems, heterogeneous networks, millimeter-wave communications, mission-critical traffic, Software-defined networking

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