Optimizing Network Utility Through Dynamic User Management at Near-Real-Time RIC: Load Balancing for Enhanced Performance

Marius Corici, Nicolas Zunker, Wolfgang Scheit,Varun Gowtham,Florian Schreiner, Mike Cronin,Thomas Magedanz

2023 IEEE Future Networks World Forum (FNWF)(2023)

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Abstract
In beyond 5G and 6G networks, while maintaining seamless and uninterrupted connectivity remains crucial, there is a strong transition towards maximizing network utility by improving resource allocation, minimizing network overhead, and tailoring the network to meet specific service requirements and to avoid excess provisioning. This paper introduces a novel approach that leverages near-real time Radio Intelligent Controller (Near-RT RIC) functionality to implement dynamic management of connected devices. By integrating this functionality at Near-RT RIC level, our research provides a remarkably high flexibility in managing system resources through near real-time distribution of devices among radio heads and dynamic load balancing based on their QoS demands. Additionally, we present an architecture, illustrating its advantages in terms of the enhanced customization flexibility that will be a part of 6G requirements. We provide an initial proof-of concept involving commercial 5G base stations, highlighting the best practices in implementation and a comprehensive assessment of this innovative solution. The evaluation results affirm the robust performance of the solution and its integration into existing functionality, paving the way for the change in thinking in network management towards the optimized network utility.
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Key words
6G,Beyond 5G,O-RAN,Near Real-Time RIC,RAN-Core Convergence,Network Utility
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