An Integrated Architecture for Software Defined and Virtualized Radio Access Networks with Fog Computing
Today, billions of communication devices connecting to wireless networks impose serious challenges to network deployment, management, and data processing. Among all emerging technologies tackling these challenges, SDNs decouple the control plane from the data plane to provide network programmability, and virtualization can share network and radio resources among various applications. On the other hand, fog computing offloads computing services from the cloud to the edge of networks, offering real-time data services to nearby data terminals. In this article, we present an integrated architecture for software defined and virtualized radio access networks with fog computing. We propose a design of software as a service called OpenPipe, which enables network-level virtualization. To integrate SDNs and network virtualization with fog computing, we adopt a hybrid control model with two hierarchical control levels, where an SDN controller forms the higher level and local controllers comprise the lower level. Typical use cases of the proposed network architecture are validated through laboratory demonstrations.