Network function virtualization in 5G

Sherif Abdelwahab, Bechir Hamdaoui, Mohsen Guizani, Taieb Znati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

184 Citations (Scopus)


5G wireless technology is paving the way to revolutionize future ubiquitous and pervasive networking, wireless applications, and user quality of experience. To realize its potential, 5G must provide considerably higher network capacity, enable massive device connectivity with reduced latency and cost, and achieve considerable energy savings compared to existing wireless technologies. The main objective of this article is to explore the potential of NFV in enhancing 5G radio access networks' functional, architectural, and commercial viability, including increased automation, operational agility, and reduced capital expenditure. The ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group has recently published drafts focused on standardization and implementation of NFV. Harnessing the potential of 5G and network functions virtualization, we discuss how NFV can address critical 5G design challenges through service abstraction and virtualized computing, storage, and network resources. We describe NFV implementation with network overlay and SDN technologies. In our discussion, we cover the first steps in understanding the role of NFV in implementing CoMP, D2D communication, and ultra densified networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7452271
Pages (from-to)84-91
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Communications Magazine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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