Blockchain for 5G and Beyond Networks: A State of the Art Survey

by   Dinh C Nguyen, et al.

The fifth generation (5G) wireless networks are on the way to be deployed around the world. The 5G technologies target to support diverse vertical applications by connecting heterogeneous devices and machines with drastic improvements in terms of high quality of service, increased network capacity and enhanced system throughput. Despite all these advantages that 5G will bring about, there are still major challenges to be addressed, including decentralization, transparency, risks of data interoperability, network privacy and security vulnerabilities. Blockchain can offer innovative solutions to effectively solve the challenges in 5G networks. Driven by the dramatically increased capacities of the 5G networks and the recent breakthroughs in the blockchain technology, blockchain-based 5G services are expected to witness a rapid development and bring substantial benefits to future society. In this paper, we provide a state-of-art survey on the integration of blockchain with 5G networks and beyond. Our key focus is on the discussions on the potential of blockchain for enabling key 5G technologies, including cloud/edge computing, Software Defined Networks, Network Function Virtualization, Network Slicing, and D2D communications. We then explore the opportunities of blockchain to important 5G services, ranging from spectrum management, network virtualization, resource management to interference management, federated learning, privacy and security provision. The recent advances in the applications of blockchain in 5G Internet of Things are also surveyed in various domains, i.e. smart healthcare, smart city, smart transportation, smart grid and UAVs. The main findings derived from the survey are then summarized, and possible research challenges with open issues are also identified. Lastly, we complete this survey by shedding new light on future directions of research on this newly emerging area.


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