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Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing
Volume 2017, Article ID 1984314, 11 pages
Research Article

Open-Source Based Testbed for Multioperator 4G/5G Infrastructure Sharing in Virtual Environments

1School of Engineering and Computing, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley PA1 2BE, UK
2School of Engineering and Computing, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, PA1 2BE, UK
3Zayed University, Abu Dhabi Campus, F F2-0-041, Abu Dhabi, UAE
4University of Wollongong in Dubai, Block 15, Dubai Knowledge Park, P.O. Box 20183, Dubai, UAE
5Zayed University, Dubai Academic City, Wing E-L1-005, Dubai, UAE
6College of IT, Zayed University, Office FF2-052, Dubai, UAE

Correspondence should be addressed to Jose M. Alcaraz Calero;

Received 4 April 2017; Accepted 13 July 2017; Published 5 November 2017

Academic Editor: Fabrizio Granelli

Copyright © 2017 Ricardo Marco Alaez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fourth-Generation (4G) mobile networks are based on Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technologies and are being deployed worldwide, while research on further evolution towards the Fifth Generation (5G) has been recently initiated. 5G will be featured with advanced network infrastructure sharing capabilities among different operators. Therefore, an open-source implementation of 4G/5G networks with this capability is crucial to enable early research in this area. The main contribution of this paper is the design and implementation of such a 4G/5G open-source testbed to investigate multioperator infrastructure sharing capabilities executed in virtual architectures. The proposed design and implementation enable the virtualization and sharing of some of the components of the LTE architecture. A testbed has been implemented and validated with intensive empirical experiments conducted to validate the suitability of virtualizing LTE components in virtual infrastructures (i.e., infrastructures with multitenancy sharing capabilities). The impact of the proposed technologies can lead to significant saving of both capital and operational costs for mobile telecommunication operators.