Volume 11, Number 1

Techniques for Offloading LTE Evolved Packet Core Traffic Using Openflow: A Comparative Survey & Design Reference


Kam Nasim and Trevor James Hall, University of Ottawa, Canada


Cellular users of today have an insatiable appetite for bandwidth and data. Data-intensive applications, such as video on demand, online gaming and video conferencing, have gained prominence. This, coupled with recent innovations in the mobile network such as LTE/4G, poses a unique challenge to network operators in how to extract the most value from their deployments while reducing their Total Cost of Operations(TCO). To this end, a number of enhancements have been proposed to the “conventional” LTE mobile network. Most of these recognize the monolithic and non-elastic nature of the mobile backend and propose complimenting core functionality with concepts borrowed from Software Defined Networking (SDN). In this paper, we will attempt to explore some existing options within the LTE standard to address traffic challenges. We then survey some SDN-enabled alternatives and comment on their merits and drawbacks.


SDN, LTE, EPC, openflow, mobile networks, deep packet inspection, network applications