Service Mobility in Mobile Networks
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In the current mobile network architecture, network traffic between user equipment (UE) and services deployed on the public cloud is tromboned towards the anchor point which could lead to network congestion. Deploying services closer to the UE, for example near the eNodeB, is a potential solution. The services are deployed on small scale data centers connected to, or collocated with the eNodeB, called ’eNodeB-Cloud’ (eNBC). Mobility of UEs presents a challenge for deploying services in an eNBC. When the UE is handed over from one eNodeB to another, seamless migration of UE context between the service instances running in different eNBCs needs to be ensured. In this paper, we propose a Platform as a Service framework to enable UE context migration between eNBCs. The architecture consists of handover signaling mechanism, TCP session migration technology, context transfer protocol and a set of APIs towards the service. An evaluation of the prototype implementation shows that on an average the time taken to migrate a UE context between two eNBCs is in the order of 12 ms, which is within the limit of handover interruption time between two eNodeBs.