Sie sind auf Seite 1von 7


How to Get More Out of Mobile Backhaul Networks By Karen Lien Miller LienMiller

Insight Q2 2012 11


Its a dream business case. Everyone wants what you produce. They use it every day, everywhere they go. Most say they cant live without it. But for wireless service providers, subscribers never-ending appetite for the mobile Internet can quickly turn into a nightmare. Service expectations rise as mobile Internet use increases. People assume apps will deliver the same quality of experience theyre used to on wired networks. As the bar on quality goes up, so does the load on the network. Its a given wireless service providers must grow networks to meet customer demand for bandwidth. But, if they overbuild, profitability is at risk along with the ability to adapt rapidly as new services hit the market. Thats a lot of pressure. Wireless service providers are responding in two ways: 1. Continuing to leverage existing architectures to get the most out of network investments; 2. Starting the transition to LTE and LTE-Advanced wireless networks to deliver gigabit-per-second speeds to cell sites, enabling huge volumes of high-bandwidth traffic. This approach while fiscally sound is very complex. It involves managing multiple generations of network protocols and thousands of network elements all while adapting to a changing network architecture. How do you go from under pressure to under control? Think higher Mobile networks are vast and complicated. Technology advances hold the promise of increased speed and capacity, but the transition doesnt happen overnight. Most mobile networks employ some combination of 2G, 3G and 4G technologies and will for some

LTE: Long Term Evolution

Insight Q2 2012 12


What would you give up to keep your smartphone for a week? A recent study by Vodafone finds Brits love their smartphones so much that: 70% of would give up booze 63% would stop eating chocolate 33% would give up sex 22% would give up a toothbrush

time to come and can contain up to tens of thousands of network elements in various parts of the network, from cell sites to EPC. Its easy to get caught up in the layers of network architecture, tackling traffic issues from the bottom up. But, a better approach is to gain visibility across all network elements, regardless of the underlying protocols, to pump up the overall performance of the network. A view from the top Optimal mobile backhaul is more than just the right technology. Its about the economics of managing the solutions you have in place to achieve ROI. By having one very clear window into whats happening end-to-end throughout the network, engineers can more easily control service quality and bandwidth allocation. Looking at the various disparate network elements through one network management system isnt a new idea. But, making sure you have the right tools in place to analyze data, automate technically difficult tasks and ensure network availability is the difference between having a partly obstructed view or a truly advantageous viewpoint. 3G vs. LTE backhaul networks Weve always looked toward the next big thing in mobile network technology. Why does the jump from 3G to LTE mobile backhaul require special consideration? LTE networks offer higher capacity than 3G. But, LTE fundamentally changes the nature and requirements of mobile backhaul networks. New architecture: LTE is based on the concept of a flat IP architecture and is no longer strictly a point-to-point topology like in 3G networks. The RNC is eliminated. Operators face a whole new set of requirements for LTE backhaul networks. Routing/packet forwarding is handled by RAN devices (MMEs, S/P-GWs, eNBs), which is based on Layer 3 (L3) IP addressing. Various underlying infrastructures support

RAN: Radio Access Network RNC: Radio Network Controller ROI: Return on Investment

Insight Q2 2012 13






this packet forwarding. The absence of an RNC creates a need for backhaul network security because the mobile core is exposed. Decreased delay: One of the benefits of an LTE network is a decreased traffic delay for users compared to earlier mobile data services. This makes fair, QoS class-based traffic management in the transport network more important. To deliver these types of services, operators must align their delay requirements end-to-end. Synchronization: The deployment of LTE technologies means that all traffic, including sync, can be carried over packet networks. So, operators must deploy technologies which support both frequency reference and phase and time-of-day synchronization. Small cells: LTE networks increase the capacity of the air interface compared to 3G technologies. The trend in LTE networks is to introduce smaller cell sites especially in densely populated areas dramatically increasing the number of boxes to administer and the amount of data to collect and manage.

QoS: Quality of Service

Insight Q2 2012 14


Making it all work together In LTE networks, more intelligence is in the network elements. They are able to make independent decisions based on network conditions. But, this doesnt make networks easier to manage. The operator no longer has a full understanding of network conditions at a point in time. And, because of the smaller cell sites, there are more network elements to control. Existing network investments arent going away any time soon. So, an intelligent management system that supports a wide range of technologies, automates complicated tasks and easily adapts as network architecture changes is critical to the long-term health of the wireless network. The move to LTE is underway The growth of mobile data traffic is exponential. Individual users historically have been the main drivers for OTT video, mobile apps and Internet connectivity. Now add the growth of FMC to support business services and enterprise applications and the popularity of cloud services, and the pressure on wireless service providers to add more bandwidth capacity is immense. LTE networks can enable wireless service providers to deliver tremendous, wirelinelike quality to customers with data speed up to gigabit-per-second to end-user devices. According to Infonetics, 46 commercial LTE networks were operable at the end of 2011. They expect 119 LTE networks to be live by the end of 2012. Additionally, investments to increase capacity and prepare for LTE networks are underway, whether the transition to LTE is underway now, or planned before 2015. But, most operators will continue to manage a mix of 2G, 3G and 4G technologies for some time to come.

FMC: Fixed-mobile Convergence OTT: Over the Top

Insight Q2 2012 15


Grace under pressure By approaching the migration to LTE from the highest level network management operators are best positioned to get more out of their mobile backhaul networks. With end-to-end visibility into the network and easy provisioning tools, operators can: More easily roll out new mobile services or expand network coverage for human users and machines Gain more control of increasingly complex network assets and growing traffic demands Use the network as a competitive advantage to make the most of the transition to LTE.

Insight Q2 2012 16


Network Management System Checklist Heres what to look for when selecting a network management tool:

End-to-end network visibility and OAM tools Automation for network rollout and service provisioning with automated tools, templates and processes Ability to integrate and manage multiple network technologies Analysis of capacity usage Easy-to-use Graphical User Interface (GUI) Scalability to add and monitor network elements easily Advanced troubleshooting and reporting capabilities to detect and fix network errors quickly, reduce network downtime and minimize SLA penalties Synchronization monitoring

OAM: Operations & Management SLA: Service Level Agreement

Insight Q2 2012 17