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This article proposes an innovative architecture design for a 5G transport solution (dubbed 5G-Crosshaul) targeting the integration of existing and new fronthaul and backhaul technologies and interfaces. At the heart of the proposed design lie an SDN/NFV-based management and orchestration entity (XCI), and an Ethernet-based packet forwarding entity (XFE) supporting various fronthaul and backhaul traffic QoS profiles. The XCI lever-ages widespread architectural frameworks for NFV (ETSI NFV) and SDN (Open Daylight and ONOS). It opens the 5G transport network as a service for innovative network applications on top (e.g., multi-tenancy, resource management), provisioning the required network and IT resources in a flexible, cost-effective, and abstract manner. The proposed design supports the concept of network slicing pushed by the industry for realizing a truly flexible, sharable, and cost-effective future 5G system.
5g transport network; sdn nfv integrated fronthaul-backhaul transport network architecture; 5g-crosshaul; xci; ethernet-based packet forwarding entity; xfe; qos profiles