Mobile network architecture evolution toward 5G
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As a chain is as strong as its weakest element, so are the efficiency, flexibility, and robustness of a mobile network, which relies on a range of different functional elements and mechanisms. Indeed, the mobile network architecture needs particular attention when discussing the evolution of 3GPP EPS because it is the architecture that integrates the many different future technologies into one mobile network. This article discusses 3GPP EPS mobile network evolution as a whole, analyzing specific architecture properties that are critical in future 3GPP EPS releases. In particular, this article discusses the evolution toward a "network of functions," network slicing, and software-defined mobile network control, management, and orchestration. Furthermore, the roadmap for the future evolution of 3GPP EPS and its technology components is detailed and relevant standards defining organizations are listed.