Over the last few years, C-RAN is proposed as a transformative architecture for 5G cellular networks that brings the flexibility and agility of cloud computing to wireless communications. At the same time, content caching in wireless networks has become an essential solution to lower the content- access latency and backhaul traffic loading, leading to user QoE improvement and network cost reduction. In this article, a novel cooperative hierarchical caching (CHC) framework in C-RAN is introduced where contents are jointly cached at the BBU and at the RRHs. Unlike in traditional approaches, the cache at the BBU, cloud cache, presents a new layer in the cache hierarchy, bridging the latency/capacity gap between the traditional edge-based and core-based caching schemes. Trace-driven simulations reveal that CHC yields up to 51 percent improvement in cache hit ratio, 11 percent decrease in average content access latency, and 18 percent reduction in backhaul traffic load compared to the edge-only caching scheme with the same total cache capacity. Before closing the article, we discuss the key challenges and promising opportunities for deploying content caching in C-RAN in order to make it an enabler technology in 5G ultra-dense systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Information Systems
- Hardware and Architecture
- Computer Networks and Communications