Cellular systems are recently being considered an option to provide support to the Internet of Things (IoT). To enable this support, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has introduced new procedures specifically targeted for cellular IoT. With one of these procedures, the transmissions of small and infrequent data packets from/to the devices are encapsulated in signaling messages and sent through the control plane. However, these transmissions from/to a massive number of devices may imply a major increase of the processing load on the control plane entities of the network and in particular on the Mobility Management Entity (MME). In this paper, we propose two designs of an MME based on Network Function Virtualization (NFV) that aim at facilitating the IoT support. The first proposed design partially separates the processing resources dedicated to each traffic class. The second design includes traffic shaping to control the traffic of each class. We consider three classes: Mobile Broadband (MBB), low latency Machine to Machine communications (lM2M) and delay-tolerant M2M communications. Our proposals enable reducing the processing resources and, therefore, the cost. Additionally, results show that the proposed designs lessen the impact between classes, so they ease the compliance of the delay requirements of MBB and lM2M communications.
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