Low-latency Networking: Where Latency Lurks and How to Tame It

by   Xiaolin Jiang, et al.

While the current generation of mobile and fixed communication networks has been standardized for mobile broadband services, the next generation is driven by the vision of the Internet of Things and mission critical communication services requiring latency in the order of milliseconds or sub-milliseconds. However, these new stringent requirements have a large technical impact on the design of all layers of the communication protocol stack. The cross layer interactions are complex due to the multiple design principles and technologies that contribute to the layers' design and fundamental performance limitations. We will be able to develop low-latency networks only if we address the problem of these complex interactions from the new point of view of sub-milliseconds latency. In this article, we propose a holistic analysis and classification of the main design principles and enabling technologies that will make it possible to deploy low-latency wireless communication networks. We argue that these design principles and enabling technologies must be carefully orchestrated to meet the stringent requirements and to manage the inherent trade-offs between low latency and traditional performance metrics. We also review currently ongoing standardization activities in prominent standards associations, and discuss open problems for future research.


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