5G Wireless Network Slicing for eMBB, URLLC, and mMTC: A Communication-Theoretic View
Published 2018-04-13Version 1
The grand objective of 5G wireless technology is to support services with vastly heterogeneous requirements. Network slicing, in which each service operates within an exclusive slice of allocated resources, is seen as a way to cope with this heterogeneity. However, the shared nature of the wireless channel allows non-orthogonal slicing, where services us overlapping slices of resources at the cost of interference. This paper investigates the performance of orthogonal and non-orthogonal slicing of radio resources for the provisioning of the three generic services of 5G: enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine-type communications (mMTC), and ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC). We consider uplink communications from a set of eMBB, mMTC and URLLC devices to a common base station. A communication-theoretic model is proposed that accounts for the heterogeneous requirements and characteristics of the three services. For non-orthogonal slicing, different decoding architectures are considered, such as puncturing and successive interference cancellation. The concept of reliability diversity is introduced here as a design principle that takes advantage of the vastly different reliability requirements across the services. This study reveals that non-orthogonal slicing can lead, in some regimes, to significant gains in terms of performance trade-offs among the three generic services compared to orthogonal slicing.