Design and Experimental Validation of a Software-Defined Radio Access Network Testbed with Slicing Support


Network slicing is a fundamental feature of 5G systems to partition a single network into a number of segregated logical networks, each optimized for a particular type of service, or dedicated to a particular customer or application. The realization of network slicing is particularly challenging in the Radio Access Network (RAN) part, where multiple slices can be multiplexed over the same radio channel and Radio Resource Management (RRM) functions shall be used to split the cell radio resources and achieve the expected behaviour per slice. In this context, this paper describes the key design and implementation aspects of a Software-Defined RAN (SD-RAN) experimental testbed with slicing support. The testbed has been designed consistently with the slicing capabilities and related management framework established by 3GPP in Release 15. The testbed is used to demonstrate the provisioning of RAN slices (e.g. preparation, commissioning and activation phases) and the operation of the implemented RRM functionality for slice-aware admission control and scheduling.

Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing