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Orchestration of Ultra-Dense 5G Networks

Feature Topic


The network function virtualization (NFV) transformation is gaining an incredible momentum by mobile operators as one of the significant solutions to improve the resource allocation and system scalability in future 5G networks. In distributed cloud, each network slice will be managed by a geo-datacenter that provides the virtual processing resources to remote radio heads, while network adaptations and data forwarding are managed by the software-defined network (SDN) controller. However, the ultra-dense deployment of small cells in 5G creates high volumes of load that pushes the physical and virtual resources to the edge limits. Orchestration feature is the enabler for efficient load distribution between network slices that allows to re-stabilize network performance through more reliable and scalable services. Therefore, there is a strong need to articulate the integration of SDN/NFV in a unified open architecture for networking and orchestration between 5G network sites. Efficient orchestration facilitates chaining services to evolve network operations from operations driven to software driven administration. This requires leveraging network automation through new models, interfaces, and open-source building blocks that specify functional requirements to achieve efficient adaptation, interoperability, and integration between different network sites.

This FT on “Orchestration of Ultra-Dense 5G Networks” in the IEEE Communications Magazine will provide the research and industrial communities the opportunity to disseminate new research, development, and deployment efforts in modeling NFV behaviour as instant virtual controllers for cloud based radio access networks. The focus is on the use of virtual management and orchestration functionalities to drive the various network resources in response to the load changes at the fronthaul or to adapt network interworking to distribute the load between various cloud entities. The scope of the FT is extended beyond the status of cloud-coordinated 5G networks to understand the vertical applications in managing temporally data resource of other services such as smart-grid networks and Internet of Things (IoT). Specific topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Distributed cloud and RAN interworking
  • Cloud computing and storage architectures
  • NFV, NVFI, and Virtual Infrastructure Managers
  • Interfacing of different technologies through cloud
  • Saas, Naas, and optimization of resource allocations
  • Virtual resources and load variation
  • Interworking between virtual and physical
  • Case studies on virtual machines and quest operating systems
  • Software-Defined Networking (SDN)
  • Automation and network scaling
  • Implementation of network functions in software
  • Network elasticity and live cycle management
  • complex network platforms
  • Network stability, control and optimization 
  • Orchestration and management mechanisms
  • Integration of various services and tools
  • Orchestration and management mechanisms
  • Security algorithms for cloud OS platforms such as ECOMP, ONAP, FusionSphere, etc.
  • Vertical applications of orchestrators such as grid modernization, IoT, etc.  
  • Performance evaluation of virtual environments and trials of new services
  • Standardization activities by 3GPP and ETSI


Anwer Al-Dulaimi
EXFO, Canada

Qiang Ni
Lancaster University, UK

Junwei Cao
Tsinghua University, China

Alan Gatherer
HuaweiTechnologies, USA

Chih-Lin I
China Mobile, China