The general expectation is that 5G will enable new use cases and applications the previous generations of mobile technologies cannot support. As a direct consequence, the transport and backhaul networks may be strongly impacted by the requirements posed by these new scenarios.
On the one hand, the new applications demand for lower latency, higher capacity and reliability, stricter synchronization than the current mobile services, pushing for a review of the transport and backhaul network design. On the other hand, 5G introduces architectural novelties, such as functional disaggregation and cloud-based design, also effecting the transport networks infrastructure.
This special issue is dedicated to how current backhaul network architectures evolve to support 5G. Any contributions dealing with this topic will be carefully analyzed, yet special attention will be given to those proposals addressing the technical challenges or the operational issues carriers may face in upgrading the network infrastructure in light of 5G.
As such, we welcome contributions coming from all the players in the mobile industry: operators, vendors and research institutions.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of the topics that can be considered for this special issue:
- Network architecture transformation. The key question here is to envision how the future 5G-enabled backhaul network will look like and what are the main transformation factors
- Technology drivers. We will try to answer to at least two fundamental questions: what are the network domains where the evolution will play a major role and what are the involved network technologies? We expect contributions dealing with access (e.g. fiber, microwave connectivity of a gNB), IP transport (e.g. role of Segment Routing, EVPN, advanced QOS mechanisms), optical transport (e.g. OTN, optical switching), automation (e.g. SDN, NFV), orchestration (e.g. network slicing management), synchronization, cloud
- Operations & management. How the mentioned technologies contribute to simplify or solve the current operational issues, such as lowering down the Time to Market (TTM) of network services, increasing the level of network programmability through automation, decreasing the level of complexity in managing current networks