Rethinking LTE network functions virtualization

Muhammad Taqi Raza, Dongho Kim, Kyu Han Kim, Songwu Lu, Mario Gerla

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

17 Scopus citations


LTE Network Function Virtualization (LTE-NFV) scales user services in a low cost fashion by transforming the centralized legacy LTE Core architecture to a distributed architecture. This distributed architecture makes multiple instances of LTE Network Functions (NFs) and virtualizes them on commodity data-center network. The functionality of LTE-NFV architecture breaks however, since the distributed NF instances connected via unreliable IP links delay the execution of critical events. The failure of time-critical events results in users' quality of service degradation and temporary service unavailability. In this paper, we propose a new way to virtualize LTE core network. We argue that logic-based NFs segregation should be done for NFV, instead of instance-based NFs segregation done in current NFV implementation. Our approach of 'logic-based NFs segregation' combines the logic of an event into a single NF, thus localizing the execution of critical events to one virtual machine. This way, only the localized entities exchange signalling messages, and the events do not experience large delays. We further reduce the delays by exploiting the parallelism in LTE network protocols; and partition these protocols such that their signalling messages run in parallel. In addition, we eliminate unnecessary messages to reduce the signalling overhead. We build our system prototype over OpenEPC LTE core network in virtualized platform. Our results show that we can reduce event execution time and signalling overhead up to 50% and 40%, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 IEEE 25th International Conference on Network Protocols, ICNP 2017
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
ISBN (Electronic)9781509065011
StatePublished - Nov 21 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event25th IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols, ICNP 2017 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: Oct 10 2017Oct 13 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Network Protocols, ICNP
ISSN (Print)1092-1648


Conference25th IEEE International Conference on Network Protocols, ICNP 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software


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