Distributed Ledger Technologies for Network Slicing: A Survey Articles uri icon

publication date

  • February 2022

start page

  • 19412

end page

  • 19422

volume

  • 10

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2169-3536

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2169-3536

abstract

  • Network slicing is one of the fundamental tenets of Fifth Generation (5G)/Sixth Generation (6G) networks. Deploying slices requires end-to-end (E2E) control of services and the underlying resources in a network substrate featuring an increasing number of stakeholders. Beyond the technical difficulties this entails, there is a long list of administrative negotiations among parties that do not necessarily trust each other, which often requires costly manual processes, including the legal construction of neutral entities. In this context, Blockchain comes to the rescue by bringing its decentralized yet immutable and auditable lemdger, which has a high potential in the telco arena. In this sense, it may help to automate some of the above costly processes. There have been some proposals in this direction that are applied to various problems among different stakeholders. This paper aims at structuring this field of knowledge by, first, providing introductions to network slicing and blockchain technologies. Then, state-of-the-art is presented through a global architecture that aggregates the various proposals into a coherent whole while showing the motivation behind applying Blockchain and smart contracts to network slicing. And finally, some limitations of current work, future challenges and research directions are also presented.

keywords

  • distributed ledger technologies; blockchain; network slicing; beyond 5g; 6g; smart contracts