5G networks will have to offer extremely high volumes of content, compared to those of today’s. Moreover, they will have to support heterogeneous traffics, including machine-to-machine, generated by a massive volume of Internet-of-Things devices. Traffic demands will be variable in time and space. In this work, we argue that all this can be achieved in a cost-effective way if the network is flexible and reconfigurable. We present the Flex5Gware network architecture, designed to meet the above requirements. Moreover, we discuss the links between flexibility and reconfigurability, on the one side, and context awareness and content awareness, on the other; we show how two of the building blocks of the Flex5Gware architecture, namely on-the-fly MAC reconfiguration and dynamic multi-cell coordinated resource scheduling, can leverage context and content information to make reconfiguration decisions. Our evaluation, conducted by both prototyping and simulation, show that this brings significant benefits in terms of improved coexistence of heterogeneous access networks and reduced latency. We terminate our paper by discussing how the Flex5Gware architecture aims at influencing future system standardization and leveraging the benefits of some key 5G networking enablers described in the paper.
- Signal Processing
- Computer Science Applications
- Computer Networks and Communications