Toward open, programmable, and virtualized 5G networks

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Toward open, programmable, and virtualized 5G networks

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  • Fifth generation (5G) cellular networks will serve a wide variety of heterogeneous use cases, including mobile broadband users, ultra-low latency services and massively dense connectivity scenarios. The resulting diverse communication requirements will demand networking with unprecedented flexibility, not currently provided by the monolithic black-box approach of 4G cellular networks.

    This talk will focus on softwarization, virtualization, and disaggregation of wireless networking functionalities, which have been identified as key enablers for flexible, data-driven 5G and beyond networks.

    Particularly, software-defined cellular networks can satisfy the new application-driven traffic requirements and support highly time-varying topologies and interference dynamics, because of their openness, through well-defined interfaces, and programmability, for swift and responsive network optimization.

    We will discuss some of the leading trends that are moving cellular networks in this direction, focusing on the disaggregation of the RAN, its programmability, and on the different open source projects that are pushing this transition. Additional material on this topic can be found at

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