Orchestration of Heterogeneous Wireless Networks: State of the Art and Remaining Challenges


Wireless devices have a plethora of technologies at their disposal to connect to the Internet and other services. Management and control of each technology are traditionally isolated, and coordination between technologies is nearly non-existent. This isolation leads to poor resource usage, which in turn reduces performance and service guarantees. To satisfy growing user demands, we need to leverage the different service guarantees offered by each technology. Additionally, we need to improve orchestration between technologies to increase performance and flexibility while offering a more extensive range of service guarantees and maximizing resource utilization across networks and users. In this work, we present the general challenges one encounters when managing heterogeneous wireless networks. We argue that the primary challenge is the heterogeneity itself, the number of different devices and technologies, the different service requirements, and the increasing complexity as a consequence. However, technology abstraction can overcome these challenges. We provide an overview of state of the art commercial and scientific solutions and show their strengths and weaknesses. Based on this, we discuss the current status and what future challenges still await to provide full seamless heterogeneous wireless network management.

Computer Communications