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Software-Defined and Virtualized Future Mobile and Wireless Networks: A Survey

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With the proliferation of mobile demands and increasingly multifarious services and applications, mobile Internet has been an irreversible trend. Unfortunately, the current mobile and wireless network (MWN) faces a series of pressing challenges caused by the inherent design. In this paper, we extend two latest and promising innovations of Internet, software-defined networking and network virtualization, to mobile and wireless scenarios. We first describe the challenges and expectations of MWN, and analyze the opportunities provided by the software-defined wireless network (SDWN) and wireless network virtualization (WNV). Then, this paper focuses on SDWN and WNV by presenting the main ideas, advantages, ongoing researches and key technologies, and open issues respectively. Moreover, we interpret that these two technologies highly complement each other, and further investigate efficient joint design between them. This paper confirms that SDWN and WNV may efficiently address the crucial challenges of MWN and significantly benefit the future mobile and wireless network.

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This paper presents a survey focusing on two latest and promising technologies: software-defined wireless network (SDWN) and wireless network virtualization (WNV). SDWN and WNV significantly benefit the convergence of heterogeneous wireless networks, improve the resource utilization, facilitate the network innovations from the network layer down to physical layer, provide customized services and guarantee the QoS and QoE, and increase the revenue of all the network entities. Meanwhile, SDWN and WNV are naturally compatible with the current networks and efficiently support the smoothly evolving. Finally, implementing and combining SDWN and WNV still have lots of open issues. This requires us to solve a series of challenges step by step for the future mobile and wireless network.

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Correspondence to Yong Li.

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This work is supported by National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program Grant No. 2013CB329105), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants No. 61301080 and No. 61171065), Chinese National Major Scientific and Technological Specialized Project (No. 2013ZX03002001), Chinas Next Generation Internet (No. CNGI-12-03-007), and ZTE Corporation.

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Yang, M., Li, Y., Jin, D. et al. Software-Defined and Virtualized Future Mobile and Wireless Networks: A Survey. Mobile Netw Appl 20, 4–18 (2015).

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