Benefits and challenges of virtualization in 5G radio access networks
Device-to-Device (D2D) communication is expected to enable a number of new services and applications in future mobile networks and has attracted significant research interest over the last few years. Remarkably, little attention has been placed on the issue of D2D communication for users belonging to different operators. In this paper, we focus on this aspect for D2D users that belong to different tenants (virtual network operators), assuming virtualized and programmable future 5G wireless networks. Under the assumption of a cross-tenant orchestrator, we show that significant gains can be achieved in terms of network performance by optimizing resource sharing from the different tenants, i.e., slices of the substrate physical network topology. To this end, a sum-rate optimization framework is proposed for optimal sharing of the virtualized resources. Via a wide site of numerical investigations, we prove the efficacy of the proposed solution and the achievable gains compared to legacy approaches.