Over the years, the cellular mobile network has evolved from a wireless plain telephone system to a very complex system providing telephone service, Internet connectivity and many interworking capabilities with other networks. Its air interface performance has increased drastically over time, leading to high throughput and low latency. Changes to the core network, however, have been slow and incremental, with increased complexity worsened by the necessity of backwards-compatibility with older-generation systems such as the Global System for Mobile communication (GSM). In this paper, a new virtualized Peer-to-Peer (P2P) core network architecture is presented. The key idea of our approach is that each user is assigned a private virtualized copy of the whole core network. This enables a higher degree of security and novel services that are not possible in today’s architecture. We describe the new architecture, focusing on its main elements, IP addressing, message flows, mobility management, and scalability. Furthermore, we will show some significant advantages this new architecture introduces. Finally, we investigate the performance of our architecture by analyzing voice-call traffic available in a database of a large U.S. cellular network provider.
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