5G Network Slicing for Wi-Fi Networks

Matteo Nerini, David Palma

Future networks will pave the way for a myriad of applications with different requirements and Wi-Fi will play an important role in local area networks. This is why network slicing is proposed by 5G networks, allowing to offer multiple logical networks tailored to the different user requirements, over a common infrastructure. However, this is not supported by current Wi-Fi networks. In this paper, we propose a standard-compliant network slicing approach for the radio access segment of Wi-Fi by defining multiple Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs) per Access Point (AP). We present two algorithms, one that assigns resources according to the requirements of slices in a static way, and another that dynamically configures the slices according to the network's conditions and relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The proposed algorithms were validated through extensive simulations, conducted in the ns-3 network simulator, and complemented by theoretical assessments. The obtained results reveal that the two proposed slicing approaches outperform today's Wi-Fi access technique, reaching lower error probability for bandwidth intensive slices and lower latency for time-critical slices. Simultaneously, the proposed approach is up to 32 times more energy efficient, when considering slices tailored for low-power and low-bandwidth devices, while increasing the overall spectrum efficiency.

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