Efficient steering mechanism for mobile network-enabled UAVs
The consideration of mobile networks as a communication infrastructure for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) creates a new plethora of emerging services and opportunities. In particular, the availability of different mobile network operators (MNOs) can be exploited by the UAVs to steer connection to the MNO ensuring the best quality of experience (QoE). While the concept of traffic steering is more known at the network side, extending it to the device level would allow meeting the emerging requirements of today’s applications. In this vein, an efficient steering solutions that take into account the nature and the characteristics of this new type of communication is highly needed. The authors introduce, in this paper, a mechanism for steering the connection in mobile network-enabled UAVs. The proposed solution considers a realistic communication model that accounts for most of the propagation phenomena experienced by wireless signals. Moreover, given the complexity of the related optimization problem, which is inherent from this realistic model, the authors propose a solution based on coalitional game. The goal is to form UAVs in coalitions around the MNOs, in a way to enhance their QoE. The conducted performance evaluations show the potential of using several MNOs to enhance the QoE for mobile network-enabled UAVs and prove the effectiveness of the proposed solution.