Mobility Management in Future Mobile Networks
Description of research
During the last two decades, The global telecommunications industry has undergone a shift toward full IP based networks that deliver voice, data, video and various applications and services across many devices. Mobile networks (e.g, 3GPP and WiMAX) due to empower the mobile users with continuous reachability and communication, have reached a high level of acceptance and have increasingly become the major access method to the Internet and data services. In such situation, where the number of mobile subscribers accessing wireless networks does not stop increasing, mobile traffic is increasing at a tremendous pace, and mobile network operators are expecting on facing critical challenges in tackling the huge demand of mobile traffic from users. The number of connected devices to the mobile network, is expected to increase exponentially in the next few years. Similarly, the data traffic is expected to almost double every year.
This increase in demand introduces serious impact on the dimensioning of the mobile carrier networks. Specifically, (i) the access network cannot be easily extended due to the cost and limitation of spectrum, and (ii) currently deployed mobile core networks are highly hierarchical and centralized, which introduces serious scalability and reliability issues.
Mobile network operators augment RAN capacity by improving spectrum utilization in several ways, such deployment macro and small cells, deploying more spectrum-efficient technologies such as LTE, selectively offloading traffic from the cellular access to WiFi technology, exploiting multi-carrier methods or multi-RAT approaches. The major challenge related to the second point stems particularly from the fact that existing mobile network core architectures under standardization (e.g, 3GPP, 3GPP2, WiMAX) are highly centralized and hierarchical. In this architecture a few high level network elements, called anchor points, are in charge of Data plane, Control plane, Management plane administration. The aggregated traffic is also huge and expected to grow exponentially in the future which leads to high demands on processing and bandwidth requirements. Backhauling of all data traffic on central locations results high loads, undesirable bottlenecks, and, last but not least, to long communication paths between users and servers.
These effects are wasting core network resources, leading to undesirable delays, and ultimately resulting in poor quality of experience (QoE) for users, when traffic increases significantly. Considering the above discussions, the centralized architectures are expected to encounter scalability as performance issues in seance of accommodating future mobile data traffic.
Decentralization is a key enabler to equip network operators economically in order to cope with increased traffic demands. Decentralization architecture will be realized by locating small-scale core network nodes, with similar functionalities as are in the current centralized nodes, towards the network edge. With such decentralized networks, operators will be able to optimize usage of the network resources by selectively breaking out IP traffic, in the local data anchor gateways which are geographically distributed as near as to the radio access network.
In mobile networks, mobility management refers to a set of mechanisms to allow a node to remain reachable after it has moved to a different networks or and physical environments. Mobility anchor node ensures connectivity by forwarding packets destined to, or sent from, the mobile node. Currently most of the mobility management solutions rely on a centralized anchor entities, which is in charge of mobility-related user data and control planes.
The main objective of this research is to design and evaluate the novel Mobility Management mechanisms to support Mobility and Service Continuity in the future decentralized architecture of mobile networks.
Prof.dr.ir. Aiko Pras
Prof. dr. Hans van den Berg
March 2013- March 2017
MCN (Mobile Cloud Networking)
CTIT Research Centre
Centre for Wireless and Sensor Systems
Links to relevant web pages: