Over the past few years, Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) have been extensively deployed and have significantly evolved. However, the deployment of large-scale WLAN still presents management issues. Moreover, while newer WLAN technologies and services have been emerging at a prolific rate, the architecture of WLAN networks has been quite static and has seen difficulties to evolve. In this paper, we present a novel architecture for carrier-managed WLAN networks which leverages Network Function Virtualization concepts and virtualization technology in general. It is based on a WLAN Cloudlet which offloads MAC layer processing from access points and consolidates network functions and value-added services. All these functions and services are based on software instances. This brings more flexibility and adaptability and allows operators to easily implement new services while reducing CAPEX/OPEX and network equipment costs (e.g., access points).
ISSN: 0003-4347 EISSN: 1958-9395 Annals of Telecommunications - annales des télécommunications http://hal.upmc.fr/hal-01292428 Annals of Telecommunications - annales des télécommunications, Springer, 2016, pp.1-8. <10.1007/s12243-016-0504-0>ARRAY(0x7f040088ec08) 2016