The current advent of 5G and the beginning of its evolution beyond 5G (B5G) toward 6G development have evidenced a growing integration between the wireless segment and the access/metro/core network portions, in an unprecedented effort to provide true end-to-end services to a diverse set of vertical applications, many of which are based on the Internet of Things (IoT) concept. In line with this vision, communications and computation have become more entangled and computing power more distributed, from remote cloud datacenters down to micro-datacenters in the edge. Cloud-native applications based on micro-services, Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) are the architectural and technological paradigms that support this evolution, along with the increased presence of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) techniques.
Both the Data Plane and the Management and Control Plane of the network are profoundly affected by this integration and technological scenario. Automated service decomposition and orchestration, along with “self-driving” networks, possibly empowered by analytics and AI/ML, will be of paramount importance. Moreover, as an evolution of today’s IoT deployments, the next generation hyperconnected B5G environment will see machines as main users. The development of a more powerful, efficient and dynamic wireless segment (with increased system capacity, ambient backscattering and dynamic spectrum management, among others) will pose further challenges to network control, management and orchestration. These characteristics will be particularly evident in the Industrial IoT environment, where very stringent Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be pursued regarding, among others, short response times (down to the sub-millisecond time scale) of control actions that need to adapt to very fast system dynamics. Fast scalability (without neglecting energy-efficiency) in the allocation of resources will also be needed, driving management and control planes closer in terms of time scales, towards a possible tighter integration.
5G, 6G, network management and control, autonomous network behavior, time critical applications’ support, sub-ms operational network capabilities, convergence of management and control
New architectures for network management and control
Network reliability, fast scalability, reconfigurability and energy efficiency for time-critical applications
Use cases and enabling technologies
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Leading Guest Editor
Adnan Al-Anbuky, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
Raffaele Bolla, University of Genoa and CNIT, Italy
Melike Erol-Kantarci, University of Ottawa, Canada
Carla Raffaelli, University of Bologna, Italy
Riccardo Trivisonno, Huawei, Germany
Patrick Waldemar, Telenor, Norway