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Evolution of Access Network Sharing and Its Role in 5G Networks

CONNECT Centre, Trinity College, The University of Dublin, 2 Dublin, Ireland
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Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(21), 4566; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9214566
Received: 3 October 2019 / Revised: 17 October 2019 / Accepted: 18 October 2019 / Published: 28 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Network Evolution Towards 5G)
This paper details the evolution of access network sharing models from legacy DSL to the most recent fibre-based technology and the main challenges faced from technical and business perspectives. We first give an overview of existing access sharing models, that span physical local loop unbundling and virtual unbundled local access. We then describe different types of optical access technologies and highlight how they support network sharing. Next, we examine how the concept of SDN and network virtualization has been pivotal in enabling the idea of “true multi-tenancy”, through the use of programmability, flexible architecture and resource isolation. We give examples of recent developments of cloud central office and OLT virtualization. Finally, we provide an insight into the role that novel business models, such as blockchain and smart contract technology, could play in 5G networks. We discuss how these might evolve, to provide flexibility and dynamic operations that are needed in the data and control planes. View Full-Text
Keywords: access networks; network sharing; 5G networks; multi tenancy; optical access; sharing economics access networks; network sharing; 5G networks; multi tenancy; optical access; sharing economics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Afraz, N.; Slyne, F.; Gill, H.; Ruffini, M. Evolution of Access Network Sharing and Its Role in 5G Networks. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 4566.

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