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Deviceless Communications: Cloud-Based Communications for Heterogeneous Networks

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Mobile networks today see increasingly large numbers of connected user equipments (UE), allowing users to go beyond voice calling and tap into rich on-line services. Parallel to this evolution, other devices, such as TV’s, home automation or even Internet of Things controllers, have become integrated with connectivity capabilities, allowing them to not only be locally connected, but also be reachable from the Internet. In this paper we propose a deviceless communication approach, where data and media flows reaching a user can be individually shifted into nearby devices. To support this, we present a framework that explores and enhances Software Defined Network and Network Function Virtualisation concepts, allowing the opportunistic utilization of nearby devices as the user moves, while still being perceived as a single end-point towards external entities. An experimental validation scenario is presented, showcasing a video stream being delivered to a nearby large TV screen, allowing the user to watch the video while a voice call is routed to a nearby phone. Results showcase the feasibility of the proposed framework and how virtualisation of both the UE and the points of attachment contribute to reduce the impact of flow management in the physical devices.

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This work is funded by FCT/MEC through national funds and when applicable co-funded by FEDER PT2020 partnership agreement under the Project UID/EEA/50008/2013, and by the Integrated Programme of SR&TD SOCA (Ref. CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-000010), co-funded by Centro 2020 program, Portugal 2020, European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund, and by the FCT Grant SFRH/BD/96553/2013.

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Correspondence to Flávio Meneses.

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Meneses, F., Guimarães, C., Magalhães, T. et al. Deviceless Communications: Cloud-Based Communications for Heterogeneous Networks. Wireless Pers Commun 100, 25–46 (2018).

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