Effects of C/U Plane Separation and Bearer Aggregation in Mobile Core Network

Shuya Abe, Go Hasegawa, Masayuki Murata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In response to the growing demand for cellular networks, it is essential to improve the capacity of mobile core networks. Especially, in terms of accommodating machine-to-machine/Internet-of-Things (M2M/IoT) terminals into cellular networks, the load on the control and the user planes of the mobile core network increases massively. To deal with this problem, it is possible to apply virtualization technologies, such as software-defined network and network function virtualization. However, few existing studies evaluate such solutions for mobile core networks numerically and in detail. In this paper, we first evaluate mobile core network architectures with virtualization technologies and control/user (C/U) plane separation using the mathematical analysis. We also propose a novel bearer aggregation method to reduce the control plane load to accommodate massive M2M/IoT terminals. The result of numerical evaluation shows that the capacity of the mobile core network can be increased by up to 32.8% with node virtualization and C/U plane separation, and further by 201.4% by using bearer aggregation. Moreover, to maintain the performance of the mobile core network, we should carefully determine where the bearer aggregation is applied and when the shared bearer for each terminal is determined based on application characteristics and the number of accommodated M2M/IoT terminals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-624
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • C/U plane separation
  • M2M/IoT communication
  • Mobile core network
  • bearer aggregation
  • software defined networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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