[talks] 3:30pm Wed Jul 24 talk on cellular networks by Erran Li (Bell Labs) in CS 402

Jennifer Rexford jrex at CS.Princeton.EDU
Wed Jul 24 01:17:21 EDT 2013

Speaker: Dr. Erran Li, Bell Labs
Title: Making Cellular Networks Scalable and Flexible through Design-in-the-Large
Date/time: 3:30-4:30pm Wednesday July 24
Location: 402 in the CS building

Abstract: The rapid penetration of smart phones has put tremendous stress on 
cellular data networks. To understand the fundamental limitations of current 
cellular network architecture, I will first summarize my work on scalable 
network monitoring primitives and root cause analysis of performance
problems. This work became a key part of the Alcatel-Lucent Wireless Network
Guardian 9900 product. Our measurement study reveals that our mobile user
experiences are hampered by the lack of access bandwidth at radio access
networks and the inflexibility of cellular core networks. I will then
address the two key problems through the principle of design-in-the-large.

(1) To scale access bandwidth at radio access networks, I will present the
design and prototype of Argos, a base station architecture that employs an
unprecedented number of antennas simultaneously to serve a smaller number
of mobile devices in the same band of frequencies. Both analysis
and early experimental results suggest this design can lead to orders of
magnitude increase in both spectral and energy efficiency.
(2) To enable flexible provisioning of fine-grained policies at cellular
core networks, I will summarize the design and prototype of SoftCell, a scalable
software-defined cellular core network architecture. SoftCell achieves
scalability through asymmetric edge design and selective multi-dimensional
aggregation in the data plane and switch offloading in the control
plane. Evaluations based on real LTE network traces show that a SoftCell
controller can handle a network of thousands of base stations.

This is joint work with collaborators at Princeton, Rice, Yale, and Bell Labs.

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