On the Scalability of the 5G RAN to Support Advanced V2X Services
Cellular networks currently support non-safety-critical Vehicle to Everything (V2X) services with relaxed latency and reliability requirements. 5G introduces novel technologies at the radio, transport and core networks that are expected to significantly reduce the latency and increase the flexibility and reliability of cellular networks. This has raised expectations on the possibility for 5G to support advanced V2X applications, including connected and automated applications such as advanced ADAS services, cooperative driving and remote driving. At the radio access network (RAN), 5G introduces the New Radio (NR) interface that incorporates flexible numerologies and new slot formats, channel coding schemes, and radio resource management processes. Previous studies have reported latency values of 5G NR below 2 ms when considering scenarios with limited users in the cell and with unlimited bandwidth. Supporting advanced V2X services using 5G requires a scalable network capable to support a larger number of users without degrading the required service level in scenarios with potentially limited spectrum. This study advances the current state of the art with the evaluation of the scalability of the 5G NR RAN. As a case study, the paper evaluates the capacity of 5G RAN to support the latency and reliability requirements of the cooperative lane change use case as the network load varies. The results show that the capacity of the 5G RAN to support advanced V2X services depends on the system configuration, network load and service requirements. These results call for a careful design, configuration and planning of 5G networks to support V2X services.