A Survey on Software-Defined Networking-Based 5G Mobile Core Architectures

Abdul Aziz Abdul Ghaffar*, Ashraf Mahmoud, Tarek Sheltami, Marwan Abu-Amara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Fifth generation (5G) of the cellular network is envisioned to provide diverse services to the users including high data rates, energy efficiency, and low latency. The number of Internet of Things-connected devices, multimedia applications, and mobile users are expected to grow in the next few years. The massive growth in data consumption poses new challenges such as availability and scalability in future cellular networks. Software-defined networking (SDN) is a network technology that introduces flexibility and eases the management of network architecture by separating the control plane and data plane. In this paper, we survey the relevant works that propose an SDN-based mobile core architecture in order to move toward the 5G networks and to handle the complexity of an enormous number of connected devices to the network. We propose a taxonomy in which we categorize these works based on four factors: technology adoption, control plane implementation, evaluation technique, and architecture used in these works. We also provide the shortcomings of these architectures that should be tackled in future research works.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2313-2330
Number of pages18
JournalArabian Journal for Science and Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the support provided by King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), the Interdisciplinary Research Center for Smart Mobility and Logistics, and the Department of Computer Engineering for this work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals.


  • 4G
  • 5G
  • Fifth-generation network
  • LTE
  • Mobile core network
  • SDN
  • Software‐defined network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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