5 Reasons Why C-RAN Matters to Everyone

stanley park

Author: Scott Wakelin

Much has been written in the trade press recently about how mobile network operators, like Verizon Wireless and AT&T in the U.S., Orange in France, or China Mobile in, well, China) are looking at a new architecture for how they build their networks, which is called C-RAN, or Centralized Radio Access Network.

All subscribers of mobile services should care about C-RAN, and here are my 5 reasons why.

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The Drive for a Higher Capacity Mobile Network

Author: Scott Wakelin

communication tower

Mobile operators worldwide are investigating new architectures in the Radio Access Network to increase capacity and reduce costs. The C-RAN architecture is the leading solution to this challenge. With C-RAN, baseband processing is moved out of the cell site and into a central location, which creates a new challenge: how to cost-effectively extend the Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) to the centralized baseband location – a function the industry has named Fronthaul.

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What’s the Value of an Airway?

Author: Tom SunTower

Hong Kong is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. Over there, one million dollars can buy you a 200 square foot home. In a recent AWS-3 spectrum auction in the US, AT&T spent $18.2 billion for a nationwide 20 MHz airway. The same one million dollars can rent you 1KHz of licensed spectrum for a few years. Why are operators spending so much money to secure the rights to send some electromagnetic pulses through the air?

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Challenges of SDN in Carrier Networks Part 2

Author: Babak Samimi

For the first post in this series, please click here.

Let’s take a deeper look at MPLS-TP OAM and the new extensions needed to OpenFlow as we pave the way to carrier grade SDNs.  MPLS-TP has explicit requirements for fault monitoring and protection switching, while OpenFlow currently has no explicit support for fault monitoring or failure recovery.

Fault Monitoring

Fault monitoring is performed in the NNI to UNI direction. OAM packets will be extracted from the MPLS-TP traffic streams and redirected to monitoring entities at the appropriate level, e.g. section, LSP and PW. Fault monitoring with Y.1731 makes use of entities called RMEPs (Remote MEPs or Maintenance Endpoints). RMEPs monitor the ‘liveness’ of a connection between a MEP and its peer MEP by terminating and processing the continuity check messages (CCMs) being transmitted by the remote end.

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Challenges of SDN in Carrier Networks

Author: Babak Samimi

The OPEX and CAPEX benefits of Software-Defined Networks (SDNs) realized from facilitating the separation of the data, control and management planes (to allow for the orchestration and management of network resources from a central location) are widely accepted. All of us as subscribers stand to benefit from this transformation as this centralized view of network resources will create a manageable, easy-to-automate, flexible platform allowing Carriers to allocate on-demand resources and define services in real-time to keep up with our ever-changing approach of adding and using content from the Internet.  One of the major hurdles to achieving these, however, is that current SDN standards, including the industry favored OpenFlow, have not yet been augmented to specify carrier-grade functionalities.

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Impacts of LTE on PTN Mobile Backhaul

Author: Babak Samimi

While carriers worldwide are embracing the new 4G/LTE era, PTN, the mobile backhaul technology, is in need of essential upgrades to address complex networking challenges. Some Network Diagram LTE Backhaulof the challenges might be big enough to spark a PTN technology revolution.

Carriers are moving to LTE for its much faster data rate to cope with ever-increasing mobile data traffic. So it’s no surprise that the backhaul network needs to scale up in capacity and performance to match LTE. With multiple simultaneous technology inflection points from radio to backhaul, the complexities introduced to address these needs are opening doors for innovation.

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