Serving HTC and Critical MTC in a RAN Slice
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We consider a slice of a radio access network where human and machine users access services with either high throughput or low latency requirements. The slice offers both eMBB and URLLC service categories to serve HTC (Human- Type Communication) and MTC (Machine-Type Communication) traffic. We propose to use eMBB for both HTC and MTC, transferring machine traffic to URLLC only when eMBB is not able to meet the low latency requirements of MTC. We show that by so doing the slice is capable of providing very good performance to about one hundred MTC users under high HTC traffic conditions. Instead, running time-critical MTC over only eMBB is not doable at all, whereas using URLLC suffices for at most a few tens of devices. Therefore, our approach improves the number of users served by the slice by one order of magnitude, without requiring extra resources or compromising performance. To study system performance we develop a novel analytical model of uplink packet transmissions, which covers both legacy eMBB- or URLLC-based MTC, as well as our compound approach. Our model allows to tune slice parameters so as to achieve the desired balance between HTC and MTC service guarantees. We validate the model against detailed simulations using as an example an autonomous driving scenario.