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1. (WO2017003418) PROCÉDÉS ET APPAREILS PERMETTANT DE GÉRER UN TRAFIC DE DONNÉES DANS UN NŒUD RADIO AYANT UNE PILE DE PROTOCOLES DIVISÉE
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CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A method (200) of operation in a radio node (20) that provides radio coverage in one or more cells (24) local to the radio node (20), where the radio node (20) is controlled by a gateway node (22) that is coupled to a core network (18) of a wireless communication network (10), and the method (200) comprises selectively operating in a loopback mode of traffic handling for local data traffic going between given wireless devices (12) operating in any of the one or more cells (24), based on:

receiving (202) control signaling from the gateway node (22) indicating that the loopback mode of traffic handling is to be used with respect to a local-cell connection between a first wireless device (12-1) in one of the one or more cells (24) and a second wireless device (12-2) in the same or another one of the one or more cells (24);

in response to the control signaling, changing (204) from a default mode of traffic

handling to the loopback mode of traffic handling, for the indicated local-cell connection; and

subsequent to changing to the loopback mode of traffic handling, processing (206) the local data traffic on the indicated local-cell connection according to the loopback mode of traffic handling;

wherein, in the default mode of traffic handling, local data traffic and non-local data traffic sent from a given wireless device (12) in any of the one or more cells (24) is encrypted by the given wireless device (12) for decryption by the gateway node (22), and the radio node (20) forwards all such data traffic to the gateway node (22) for processing;

wherein, in the loopback mode of traffic handling, local data traffic sent from a given wireless device (12) in any of the one or more cells (24) is encrypted by the given wireless device (12) using a public key from a first public-private key pair allocated to the given wireless device (12) for the loopback mode of traffic handling, and the radio node (20) encrypts the local data traffic with a loopback encryption key derived from a private key contained in the first public-private key pair and a private key contained in a second public -private key pair used by another given wireless device (12) that is in any of the one or more cells (24) and is targeted by the local data traffic, thereby obtaining transformed local data traffic that is decipherable by the targeted wireless device (12) via the private key of the second public-private key pair, and wherein the radio node (20) transmits the transformed data traffic to the targeted wireless device (12).

2. The method (200) of claim 1, further comprising receiving the loopback encryption key for the indicated local-cell connection from the gateway node (22).

3. The method (200) of claim 1 or 2, wherein the control signaling indicates the local-cell connection by identifying at least one of: a radio bearer used for the local-cell connection, and the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2).

4. The method (200) of any of claims 1-3, wherein changing (204) from the default mode of traffic handling to the loopback mode of traffic handling, for the indicated local-cell connection includes synchronizing the change with a reconfiguration of a radio bearer used for the local-cell connection.

5. The method (200) of any of claims 1-4, wherein the control signaling received at the radio node (20) indicates that the loopback mode of traffic handling shall be used for local data traffic going between the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) in a first direction, and wherein changing to the loopback mode of traffic handling is done with respect to the first direction but not with respect to local data traffic going between the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) in an opposite, second direction, unless the same or subsequent control signaling indicates that the loopback mode of traffic handling shall be used for the second direction.

6. The method (200) of any of claims 1-5, wherein receiving (202) control signaling from the gateway node (22) indicating that the loopback mode of traffic handling is to be used with respect to the local-cell connection between the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) comprises receiving identifiers for the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) and receiving the loopback encryption key to be used for operating in the loopback mode of traffic handling with respect to the local-cell connection.

7. The method (200) of any of claims 1-6, wherein the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) constitute a first local pair of wireless devices (12), and wherein the method (200) includes selectively operating in the loopback mode of traffic handling with respect to individual pairs among one or more additional local pairs of wireless devices (12) operating in any of the one or more cells (24), in dependence on whether or not the gateway node (22) activates the loopback mode of traffic handling for the individual pairs.

8. The method (200) of any of claims 1-7, wherein a protocol stack used for handling data traffic in the default mode of traffic handling is split between the radio node (20) and the gateway node (22), and wherein the method (200) includes performing physical layer, medium access control layer, and radio link control layer protocol functions of the protocol stack at the radio node (20), while relying on the gateway node (22) to provide packet data convergence protocol layer functions of the protocol stack.

9. A radio node (20) configured to provide radio coverage in a cell, the radio node (20) comprising:

a first communication interface (30-1) configured for communicating with wireless

devices (12) operating in any of the one or more cells (24);

a second communication interface (30-2) configured to communicatively couple the radio node (20) to a controlling gateway node (22) that is coupled to a core network (18) of a wireless communication network (10); and

processing circuitry (32) that is operatively associated with the first and second

communication interfaces (30-1, 30-2) and configured to selectively operate in a loopback mode of traffic handling for local data traffic going between given wireless devices (12) operating in any of the one or more cells (24), based on being configured to:

receive control signaling from the gateway node (22) indicating that the loopback mode of traffic handling is to be used with respect to a local-cell connection between a first wireless device (12) in any of the one or more cells (24) and a second wireless device (12) in any of the one or more cells (24);

in response to the control signaling, change from a default mode of traffic

handling to the loopback mode of traffic handling, for the indicated local- cell connection; and

subsequent to changing to the loopback mode of traffic handling, process the local data traffic on the indicated local-cell connection according to the loopback mode of traffic handling;

wherein, in the default mode of traffic handling, local data traffic and non-local data traffic sent from a given wireless device (12) in any of the one or more cells (24) is encrypted by the given wireless device (12) for decryption by the gateway node (22), and the processing circuitry (32) forwards all such data traffic to the gateway node (22) for processing;

wherein, in the loopback mode of traffic handling, local data traffic sent from a given wireless device (12) in any of the one or more cells (24) is encrypted by the given wireless device (12) using a public key from a first public-private key pair allocated to the given wireless device (12) for the loopback mode of traffic handling, and the processing circuitry (32) encrypts the local data traffic with a loopback encryption key derived from a private key contained in the first public - private key pair and a private key contained in a second public -private key pair used by another given wireless device (12) that is in any of the one or more cells (24) and is targeted by the local data traffic, thereby obtaining transformed local data traffic that is decipherable by the targeted wireless device (12) via the private key of the second public -private key pair, and wherein the processing circuitry (32) transmits the transformed data traffic to the targeted wireless device (12), via the first communication interface (30-1).

10. The radio node (20) of claim 9, wherein the processing circuitry (32) is configured to receive the loopback encryption key for the indicated local-cell connection from the gateway node (22).

11. The radio node (20) of claim 9 or 10, wherein the processing circuitry (32) is configured to determine the local-cell connection based on the control signaling identifying at least one of: a radio bearer used for the local-cell connection, and the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2).

12. The radio node (20) of any of claims 9-11, wherein the processing circuitry (32) is configured to synchronize the change to the loopback mode of traffic handling with a reconfiguration of a radio bearer used for the local-cell connection.

13. The radio node (20) of any of claims 9-12, wherein the control signaling received at the radio node (20) indicates that the loopback mode of traffic handling shall be used for local data traffic going between the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) in a first direction, and wherein the processing circuitry (32) is configured to change to the loopback mode of traffic handling with respect to the first direction but not with respect to local data traffic going between the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) in an opposite, second direction, unless the control signaling, or subsequent control signaling, indicates that the loopback mode of traffic handling shall be used for the second direction.

14. The radio node (20) of any of claims 9-13, wherein, as said control signaling received from the gateway node (22), the processing circuitry (32) is configured to receive identifiers for the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) and further to receive the loopback encryption key to be used for operating in the loopback mode of traffic handling with respect to the local-cell connection.

15. The radio node (20) of any of claims 9-14, wherein the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) constitute a first local pair of wireless devices (12), and wherein the processing circuitry (32) is configured to selectively operate in the loopback mode of traffic handling with respect to individual pairs among one or more additional local pairs of wireless devices (12) operating in any of the one or more cells (24), in dependence on whether or not the gateway node (22) activates the loopback mode of traffic handling for the individual pairs.

16. The radio node (20) of any of claims 9-15, wherein a protocol stack used for handling data traffic in the default mode of traffic handling is split between the radio node (20) and the gateway node (22), and wherein the processing circuitry (32) is configured to provide physical layer, medium access control layer, and radio link control layer protocol functions of the protocol stack, and to rely on the gateway node (22) to provide packet data convergence protocol layer functions of the protocol stack.

17. A method (300) of operation in a gateway node (22) that is coupled to a core network (18) of a wireless communication network (10) and controls a radio node (20) that provides radio coverage in a cell (24) for connecting wireless devices (12) to the wireless communication network (10), the method comprising:

selecting (302) a local-cell connection between first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) operating in any of the one or more cells (24), for changeover from a default mode of traffic handling, wherein data traffic carried by the local-cell connection flow, via the radio node (20), through the gateway node (22) for processing, to a loopback mode of traffic handling, wherein the data traffic does not flow through the gateway node (22) and instead is looped back by the radio node (20);

sending (304) control signaling to the radio node (20) and to the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2), initiating the changeover to the loopback mode of traffic handling for the selected local-cell connection; and

providing (306) a loopback encryption key to the radio node (20), for use in encrypting the data traffic looped back by the radio node (20) on the selected local-cell connection, wherein the loopback encryption key is derived from the secret keys in first and second public-private key pairs assigned to the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2), respectively, for use in the loopback mode of traffic handling.

18. The method (300) of claim 17, wherein selecting (302) the local-cell connection comprises obtaining capability information for the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2), indicating that the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) support the loopback mode of traffic handling, subsequently detecting that local data traffic is going between the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2), and selecting a corresponding local-cell connection carrying the local data traffic, for changeover to the loopback mode of traffic handling.

19. The method (300) of claim 18, wherein obtaining the capability information comprises, for each of the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2), receiving an indication from the wireless device (12) during a connection establishment procedure that the wireless device (12) supports the loopback mode of traffic handling.

20. The method (300) of any of claims 17-19, wherein the method (300) includes providing the first public -private key pair to the first wireless device (12-1) via encrypted signaling, as part of establishing a connection via any of the one or more cells (24) between the first wireless device (12-1) and the wireless communication network (10), and providing the second public-private key pair to the second wireless device (12-2) via encrypted signaling, as part of establishing a connection via any of the one or more cells (24) between the second wireless device (12-2) and the wireless communication network (10).

21. The method (300) of claim 20, further comprising obtaining the first and second public-private key pairs from a core network node (72) in the core network (18), based on indicating to the core network node (72) during respective connection establishment procedures for the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) that the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) support the loopback mode of traffic handling.

22. The method (300) of any of claims 17-21, further comprising obtaining the loopback encryption key based on one of:

generating the loopback encryption key at the gateway node (22) as a function of the secret keys in the first and second public-private key pairs; or

receiving the loopback encryption key from a core network node (72), based on

indicating to the core network node (72) that the loopback mode of traffic handling is being activated for the selected local-cell connection.

23. The method (300) of any of claims 17-22, wherein the selected local-cell connection is represented by one or more allocated radio bearers used to connect the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) to any of the one or more cells (24), and wherein the control signaling includes radio bearer reconfiguration signaling, to reconfigure the one or more allocated radio bearers for the loopback mode of traffic handling.

24. The method (300) of any of claims 17-23, further comprising performing packet data convergence protocol processing at the gateway node (22) for local data traffic flowing between given wireless devices (12) connected to any of the one or more cells (24), when the default mode of traffic handling is being used for the given wireless devices (12), based on a split protocol stack wherein a first portion of a protocol stack for handling data traffic is implemented at the radio node (20), and wherein a remaining portion of the protocol stack is implemented at the gateway node (22), said first portion comprising physical, medium access control, and radio link layers, and said remaining portion comprising a packet data convergence protocol layer.

25. A gateway node (22) that is configured for communicatively coupling to a core network (18) of a wireless communication network (10) and controlling a radio node (20) that provides radio coverage in a cell for connecting wireless devices (12) to the wireless communication network (10), the gateway node (22) comprising:

a first communication (50-1) interface for communicating with the radio node (20); a second communication interface (50-2) for communicating with one or more nodes (70,

72) in the core network (18); and

processing circuitry (52) operatively associated with the first and second communication interfaces (50-1, 50-2) and configured to:

select a local-cell connection between first and second wireless devices (12) operating in any of the one or more cells (24), for changeover from a

default mode of traffic handling, wherein data traffic carried by the local- cell connection flow, via the radio node (20), through the gateway node (22) for processing, to a loopback mode of traffic handling, wherein the data traffic does not flow through the gateway node (22) and instead is looped back by the radio node (20);

send control signaling to the radio node (20) and to the first and second wireless devices (12), to initiate the changeover to the loopback mode of traffic handling for the selected local-cell connection; and provide a loopback encryption key to the radio node (20), for use in encrypting the data traffic looped back by the radio node (20) on the selected local- cell connection, wherein the loopback encryption key is derived from the secret keys in first and second public -private key pairs assigned to the first and second wireless devices (12), respectively, for use in the loopback mode of traffic handling.

26. The gateway node (22) of claim 25, wherein the processing circuitry (52) is configured to select the local-cell connection based on being configured to obtain capability information for the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2), indicating that the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) support the loopback mode of traffic handling, subsequently detect that local data traffic is going between the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2), and select a corresponding local-cell connection carrying the local data traffic, for changeover to the loopback mode of traffic handling.

27. The gateway node (22) of claim 26, wherein the processing circuitry (52) is configured to obtain the capability information by, for each of the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2), receiving an indication from the wireless device (12) during a connection establishment procedure that the wireless device (12) supports the loopback mode of traffic handling.

28. The gateway node (22) of any of claims 25-27, wherein the processing circuitry (52) is configured to provide the first public -private key pair to the first wireless device (12-1) via encrypted signaling, as part of establishing a connection via any of the one or more cells (24) between the first wireless device (12-1) and the wireless communication network (10), and provide the second public -private key pair to the second wireless device (12-2) via encrypted signaling, as part of establishing a connection via any of the one or more cells (24) between the second wireless device (12-2) and the wireless communication network (10).

29. The gateway node (22) of claim 28, wherein the processing circuitry (52) is configured to obtain the first and second public -private key pairs from a core network node (72) in the core network (18), based on indicating to the core network node (72) that the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) support the loopback mode of traffic handling, during respective connection establishment procedures for the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2).

30. The gateway node (22) of any of claims 25-29, wherein the processing circuitry (52) is configured to obtain the loopback encryption key based on being configured to:

generate the loopback encryption key at the gateway node (22) as a function of the secret keys in the first and second public -private key pairs; or

receive the loopback encryption key from a core network node (72), based on indicating to the core network node (72) that the loopback mode of traffic handling is being activated for the selected local-cell connection.

31. The gateway node (22) of any of claims 25-30, wherein the selected local-cell connection is represented by one or more allocated radio bearers used to connect the first and second wireless devices (12-1, 12-2) to any of the one or more cells (24), and wherein the processing circuitry (52) is configured to include in the control signaling radio bearer reconfiguration signaling, to reconfigure the one or more allocated radio bearers for the loopback mode of traffic handling.

32. The gateway node (22) of any of claims 25-31, wherein the processing circuitry (52) is configured to perform packet data convergence protocol processing at the gateway node (22) for local data traffic flowing between given wireless devices (12) connected to any of the one or more cells (24), when the default mode of traffic handling is being used for the given wireless devices (12), based on a split protocol stack wherein a first portion of a protocol stack for handling data traffic is implemented at the radio node (20), and wherein a remaining portion of the protocol stack is implemented at the gateway node (22), said first portion comprising physical, medium access control, and radio link layers, and said remaining portion comprising a packet data convergence protocol layer.