5G, as the next generation telecommunications architecture that aims to tackle the explosion of connected devices, services and access technologies, will heavily rely on Software Defined Mechanisms (SDN) to compose its underlying mechanisms. Notwithstanding, despite the need for novel control procedures to support and optimize increasingly challenging wireless mobile scenarios, SDN has been being deployed at the core and backhaul sections of the network and is not actively considering its impact directly over the wireless mobile terminals themselves. The challenges associated with the extension of SDN protocols, such as OpenFlow, all the way to the terminal requires the design and evaluation of frameworks that not only provide such mechanisms, but actually evaluate them and their benefits. This paper explores a framework where SDN mechanisms are extended all the way to the mobile node, in heterogeneous wireless environments featuring different mobile nodes with multiple data flows, which act both as consumers and producers of information. In this way, flow-based mobility management becomes available to the network controller entity, through the OpenFlow protocol, allowing as well the assistance of the mobile nodes in the execution of the mobility procedure. The concept framework was implemented over a physical wireless testbed, validating its contribution in a mobile source-mobility use case, with results highlighting the promising benefits of extending SDN approaches for end-to-end flow control in wireless environments.
Conference: 2015 European Workshop on Software Defined Networks in Bilbao, Spain