Using Aerial and Vehicular NFV Infrastructures to Agilely Create Vertical Services
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5G communications have become an enabler for the creation of new and more complex networking scenarios, bringing together different vertical ecosystems. Such behavior has been fostered by the network function virtualization (NFV) concept, where the orchestration and virtualization capabilities allow the possibility of dynamically supplying network resources according to its needs. Nevertheless, the integration and performance of heterogeneous network environments, each one supported by a different provider, and with specific characteristics and requirements, in a single NFV framework is not straightforward. In this work we propose an NFV-based framework capable of supporting the flexible, cost-effective deployment of vertical services, through the integration of two distinguished mobile environments and their networks: small sized unmanned aerial vehicles (SUAVs), supporting a flying ad hoc network (FANET) and vehicles, promoting a vehicular ad hoc network (VANET). In this context, a use case involving the public safety vertical will be used as an illustrative example to showcase the potential of this framework. This work also includes the technical implementation details of the framework proposed, allowing to analyse and discuss the delays on the network services deployment process. The results show that the deployment times can be significantly reduced through a distributed VNF configuration function based on the publish–subscribe model.