SDN and NFV for Wi-Fi networks

Wireless Broadband Alliance
29 Mar 2016

Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Network (SDN) provide the ability to separate the physical resources and switching function from the application and control function. This separation allows for the ability to program the behavior and management of the network using well-defined interfaces.

For example, the use of SDN in WLANs intends to bring tremendous opex improvements through offering Wi-Fi networks unprecedented programmability while reducing opex through highly automated orchestration and management by quick reaction to dynamic network condition and dynamic requirements. Moreover SDN maximizes ARPU by improved customer experience (such as low latency and high bandwidth) to those subscribers who are most willing to pay for those benefits.

At the same time, NFV in Wi-Fi network intends to move network functions like access controller, NAT, DPI, OAM, firewall and so on so forth from the dedicated equipment to virtual machines running on generic hardware.

This white paper examines the usage of SDN and NFV in the deployment of Wi-Fi network providing use cases, an analysis of the state of the art, definition of requirements, architectures alternatives, challenges and gaps for the Wi-Fi network components.

This white paper was originally posted on Wireless Broadband Alliance website

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