RMSC: A Cell Slicing Controller for Multi-tenant Mobile Networks
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The traditional model of single ownership of the mobile network infrastructure is being challenged by the forecasted mobile data tsunami and the resulting CAPEX and OPEX costs. In this context, the sharing of network infrastructure among operators has emerged as a way to ensure operators' future cost competitiveness. While the elementary concepts related to passive network sharing are already being exploited today, active network sharing is raising in importance to enable further reduction of network expenses in a substantial and sustainable way. The work presented in this paper addresses this challenge by designing a RAN Multi- tenant cell Slicing Controller (RMSC) that allows to flexibly share the RAN resources among multiple virtual operators (tenants). Three different possible designs for the RMSC controller are proposed, ranging from a fully distributed system with no inter-base station communication to a fully centralized solution with all information available. The proposed solutions are benchmarked against a distributed static slicing solution and a centralized load balancing solution, considering realistic scenarios of uneven user location distribution per tenant. The performance results obtained indicate that the proposed RMSC schemes can significantly outperform traditional solutions for multi-tenant mobile networks.