Cellular Core Enterprise White Paper by Rethink Technology Research

713 views
616 views

Published on

Enterprises of all sizes are facing unprecedented volume and complexity of both data and communications traffic, and the challenges only increase when those two converge. Quortus is taking a pioneering role in the trend to offload enterprise mobile traffic to the edge of the network where it can support the highest quality and business value. This white paper was produced for Quortus by Caroline Gabriel, Research Director at Rethink Technology Research.

Published in: Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
713
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
25
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
14
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Cellular Core Enterprise White Paper by Rethink Technology Research

  1. 1. A white paper for Quortus By Rethink Technology Research Lead Author: Caroline Gabriel, Research Director December 2013 Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise
  2. 2. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise Executive Summary Enterprises of all sizes are facing unprecedented volume and complexity of both data and communications traffic, and the challenges only increase when those two converge. Indoor consumption by enterprises will account for 24% of monthly mobile traffic in 2017, a total of 2234 petabytes a month, but for many organisations, the biggest challenge is to deliver good coverage, mobile hand-off and quality for voice. As usage shifts from desk phones to mobile devices, enterprise voice traffic will still be growing at 12% a year up to 2017. All this is driving increased investment in wireless networks in the enterprise sector, but there is rising awareness that existing solutions do not meet the whole range of needs of business users. Key among these needs are ubiquitous coverage, especially for voice; scalable and affordable data capacity; security; increasing integration with IT systems, while maintaining clear demarcation between MNO and enterprise IT; regulatory compliance. There is rising interest in small cells to help address these needs, and to enable new services with location or presence awareness, for employees or customers. These cells can work alongside existing Wi-Fi and PBX systems to enhance coverage, capacity and mobility indoors. The approach has benefits for the enterprise and the operator, and can drive new business models such as neutral host and cloud-based approaches. The enterprise gains dedicated voice capacity, mobile unified communications, scalable capacity targeted where required, improved quality of service, location aware services and analytics, and better IT integration. The operator can provide more business critical benefits and improve its strategic relationship with the enterprise; reduce churn by supporting improved capacity and quality; and offload significant volumes of data, voice switching and signalling from the macro network to the small cells. Despite these benefits, first generation small cells have not generally been geared to large-scale implementations and a new generation of systems is emerging which provides far greater functionality and manageability, whether via a hosted solution or a local control platform. In particular, they are being deployed in such a way that a high level of functionality is deployed at the network edge, close to the users. This thinking underpins and differentiates Quortus’s solution for the enterprise small cell market, the ECX Enterprise Concentrator and ECX Enterprise Gateway. This duo implements functionality usually found in the mobile core in a localised way, supporting network efficiency – offload, local call switching, more granular analytics – and locally aware services. It can run on standard hardware or the small cell itself, and can also support a hosted services platform owned by an MNO or other third party. It supports four key areas of functionality which can significantly enhance the enterprise and operator business case: • • • • Iuh aggregation Mobility offload Voice and data offload Local service interaction The small cell business case for enterprises is compelling, as outlined in Chapter 3 and the SCF’s Release Two program documents. However, the case becomes even more attractive when an enterprise controller is implemented. Quortus is taking a pioneering role in the trend to offload enterprise mobile traffic to the edge of the network where it can support the highest quality and business value. ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013
  3. 3. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise Contents 1. Introduction and context 1 a. The data and communications challenges facing enterprises 1 a. The need for new network options 2 2. Key enterprise requirements a. 3. Are these being met by current solutions? 3 3 The emerging small cell platforms 5 a. Small Cell Forum Release Two 5 b. The new generation of small cell solutions 5 c. Moving core functionality to the network edge 6 4. The Quortus solution 9 a. 10 b. 5. The key functionalities of the Quortus ECX solution Customer premises or cloud-hosted - where is the edge? 11 Conclusion: The business case summarised: Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Table 1 Table 2 13 Forecast growth in mobile voice and data (Sources; Ericsson, Cisco, Rethink Technology Research) 2 Key activities which can be moved to the edge of the network, to improve efficiency or support new functionality 6 Deployment of enterprise small cells to 2018, and the number which will feature localized processing and intelligence (directly or via a controller). 8 The physical edge of the network, where the edge is collocated with the radio but the MNO boundary remains protected 11 The logical edge, where the enterprise concentrator functionality is deployed in the cloud as a hosted service. Third party service providers can add value in this model and there is no impact on the physical edge. The MNO boundary remains protected and this is compatible with legal intercept requirements 12 Comparison of enterprise and residential environments for wireless systems Pros and cons of main enterprise wireless options ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013 3 4
  4. 4. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise 1. Introduction and context a. The data and communications challenges facing enterprises Enterprises of all sizes are facing unprecedented volume and complexity of both data and communications traffic, and the challenges only increase when those two converge. Huge data files and high definition video streaming are no longer the preserve of specialist applications, but are part of day-to-day work. Employees need to be able to access and exchange that data from any location in the enterprise as the smartphone replaces the desk phone and even the PC. Even more urgently than additional capacity, companies’ wireless networks need good coverage to support high quality voice everywhere – still the ‘killer app’ for many sites as the majority of voice calling now takes place on smartphones. Figure 1 indicates the scale of the expected increase in enterprise mobile voice and data usage. In data, indoor consumption by enterprises will account for 24% of total monthly mobile traffic by 2017, a total of 2234 petabytes per month. This will be up by a CAGR of 62% from 2012. While this growth rate is slightly lower than that for total mobile usage, mainly because of high consumer uptake of video, in voice traffic, enterprise usage continues to grow, largely because of fixed line displacement, even when the total segment flattens. By 2017, enterprise voice traffic will be about 95 petabytes per month, 36% of total voice traffic, and still growing – the CAGR since 2012 will be 12%, compared to 6% for the segment as a whole. All this is driving increased investment in wireless networks in the enterprise sector. However, many enterprises are unsure how to rise to the challenge of supporting high volumes of mobile traffic in a way that enhances their business case while keeping costs manageable. While most have Wi-Fi networks, which address some of the issues, they increasingly need to have cellular connections deeply integrated into their environment too, to support greater mobility and new services. This presents a significant opportunity for mobile operators to support full mobile broadband within enterprises, in order to address their need for capacity, coverage and QoS (quality of service) most cost-effectively and scalably. That process is seeing some new solutions emerging, based around the key concepts of small cells, localized intelligence and the option for hosted services, all of which will give mobile operators and their partners much improved tools for taking a strategic role in the wireless enterprise market. The effort to optimise small cell platforms to meet a complex mixture of enterprise needs is being spearheaded by the Small Cell Forum’s Release Two program, which aims to define platforms and best practice in this area, and is being driven by innovative enterprise specialists such as Quortus. Small cells, as this paper will describe, allow mobile operators to offload 3G/4G voice, data and signalling traffic to dedicated enterprise cells at the edge of the network. That supports improved quality and services for the enterprise, and has key benefits for the MNO – improving its strategic relationship with the business customer, and reducing strain on its macro network. ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013 1
  5. 5. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise 300 10000 9000 250 8000 7000 200 6000 5000 150 Total voice/data Enterprise voice/data Voice 4000 100 3000 2000 Enterprise voice 50 1000 0 0 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Figure 1 Forecast growth in mobile voice and data (Sources; Ericsson, Cisco, Rethink Technology Research) a. The need for new network options The key drivers of demand for a new approach to enterprise wireless networks are: ‘Mobile first’. In many organisations of all sizes, the most commonly used device is the smartphone. This change of behaviour is encouraged by: • • • • Corporate mobile enterprise and flexible working strategies which support most key applications to be used on the move Consumer behaviour changes BYOD (bring your own device) policies, which may be driven by employee preference or corporate cost savings. Employees who choose their own devices generally use them more heavily Indoor coverage and quality.The above changes are spelling the end of the desk phone in many organizations, but that leads to a requirement to support a similar level of voice and data quality, in every place in the enterprise, and with mobile hand-off. Poor coverage, especially for voice, is one of the chief reasons why companies churn to a new operator, and in the case of voice, there is also the need to replicate PBX functionality for cellphone users. New data applications. The mobile enterprise creates rising levels of data usage and exchange as applications such as customer response management and salesforce management move from the PC to the mobile device. In addition, business functions increasingly take advantage of high quality video in areas such as conferencing and client communications. Customer-facing applications. Businesses increasingly provide services to add value for partners and customers on their premises. These range from simple access for guests – outside the company firewall – to sophisticated personalized promotions to be offered to shoppers in a retail store. Yet most enterprises do not have inhouse expertise in creating these mobile services. ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013 2
  6. 6. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise 2. Key enterprise requirements All these examples add up to a complex enterprise wireless environment with a wide range of requirements, many of them business critical. The key characteristics of the enterprise, as opposed to the residential or consumer sectors, are illustrated below, and they demand a specific set of functionality from wireless systems and operator partners Residential Single cell, single location Low user density and traffic load No or limited mobility Limited local services User expectation same as macro Limited scope for operator to monetize Enterprise Multicell, possibly multi-location Medium to high user density and traffic load Mobility – internal and out to macro High level of local services needing to interoperate Higher user expectations, business critical Revenue opportunities for operator and enterprise itself Table 1 Comparison of enterprise and residential environments for wireless systems Of course, individual enterprises are very different in size, business case, type of premises, staff numbers and mobile strategies. This fragmentation is especially visible in the SMB (small to medium business) segment, which is also the one that has been least well served by existing solutions – most offerings which support top class coverage/capacity and full IP integration are well beyond the means of the average SMB. But while different organisations will use mobile and wireless networks in different ways – varying levels of adoption of mobile apps and video, for instance; or assorted ways to deliver mobile services to customers – there are some generic requirements which most companies will have from their wireless systems. These are the underpinnings of the Small Cell Forums’ Release Two program (see chapter 3). These include: • • • • Ubiquitous coverage, especially for mobile voice Data capacity sufficient for current requirements and scalable for the future Cost effectiveness Security • • • • • • Full management of mobile devices by IT security policies Firewalls to prevent IP bridging Maintenance of IPsec tunnels etc. Integration with IT systems such as customer relationship management and billing, to support monetization . Despite the above, a clear demarcation between MNO and enterprise IT responsibilities in terms of system management, security, hand-off Regulatory and legal intercept compliance a. Are these being met by current solutions? This complex and broadening set of requirements represents a significant opportunity for operators to increase their revenues and their strategic role in the enterprise space, if they can provide solutions which fully meet the above needs. While there are several well-established wireless solutions already in use in many enterprises, there is no single approach which ticks all the boxes listed above, as illustrated in Table 1. The main wireless platforms are: ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013 3
  7. 7. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise • • • • Wi-Fi, often integrated with the wireline network and PBX Reliance on the macro network penetrating indoors, sometimes with the help of repeaters DAS (Distributed Antenna System), especially in very large premises and public areas First generation small cells, which have mainly been deployed in small numbers to fill spots of poor coverage or capacity. Pro Wi-Fi • DAS • • • • • Macro network only • Con Broad ecosystem drives strong prices Large device base Standards based High capacity and data rate Strong on coverage and voice quality Usually managed by operator or integrator No additional cost • Coverage and hand-off limitations restrict voice effectiveness except with very expensive specialized solutions • • • Very expensive Only really suited to large premises Lengthy deployment time • In-building penetration often poor, reducing coverage and capacity No integration with IT and PBX systems Little enterprise control of mobile costs and usage Hard to scale Little integration with IT and PBX systems • • Standalone small cells • • • Cost effective Targeted capacity and coverage Seamless integration with macro network • • Table 2 Pros and cons of main enterprise wireless options All these technologies will continue to have a role in the enterprise, especially Wi-Fi, which provides much of the data capacity required at affordable cost. Indeed, an important requirement of any cellular option will be integration with the corporate WLANs, something helped significantly by the proliferation of multimode devices and of automatic hand-off techniques such as ANDSF and Passpoint. However, there is a clear gap for a solution which supports broad coverage as well as capacity, voice quality, scalability, manageability by the enterprise, and integration with both macro and IP/IT systems. MNOs will not achieve this effectively using just their macro networks (see below). Instead, they need a platform which can offload the critical enterprise functions to the edge of the network, and can therefore address the full shopping list of requirements with optimised quality. In particular, an MNO’s solution needs to support the following four areas of functionality: • • • • Flexible scalability using Iuh aggregation to add new small cells as required. This can increase high quality coverage as required and map it to usage patterns Mobility offload to support full mobile hand-off indoors, at optimised speed and QoS because it is managed at the edge Voice and data offload also improve capacity and quality indoors as enterprise users can take advantage of a dedicated network and even when they hand off to the macro network outdoors, it is under less strain Local service interaction so that small cells and mobile functions can be fully integrated with other enterprise systems including PBX, WLAN and IT applciations. ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013 4
  8. 8. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise 3. The emerging small cell platforms As outlined above, operators will increasingly look to solutions based on small cells to enhance the functionality they can offer to enterprise customers. This is reflected in the most recent work of the Small Cell Forum (SCF), the industry body which drives ecosystem and standards work for this segment and feeds into full standards bodies like 3GPP a. Small Cell Forum Release Two In response to the growing level of enterprise interest in small cells, the Small Cell Forum (SCF) has extended its Release Initiative, which aims to provide ‘how-to’ guides for operators in various segments. Release Two is focused on helping the enterprise segment deploy small cells by creating a deployment handbook – in effect, a knowledge base of tools and best practice, to reduce risk and promote understanding. The full Release Two documents are being launched this month (December), based on input from operators and the industry, and Quortus has taken a major role in the process by contributing content to Release documents and the Quortus CEO, Andy Odgers, being on the Forum’s Release Steering Committee. The program will help to make a powerful case for enterprise small cells. Among the key features and capabilities identified by the SCF are: • • • • • • • • dedicated voice capacity, identified as the most important application for a majority of enterprises mobile unified communications scalable capacity targeted where it is required offload of voice and data and local voice switching, improving QoS network analytics precise to location context and location aware services for employees and customers improved manageability and IT integration better mobile cost control All these capabilities will ensure small cells an important role in delivering high quality voice and data services within the enterprise. That, in turn, will greatly strengthen the MNO’s business case by improving the services they can provide to companies of all sizes, and by offloading traffic from their macro networks. b. The new generation of small cell solutions The Release Two documents will also identify challenges, the main ones being “inter-cell interactions, larger coverage areas and increased user numbers typically with higher user mobility”. That points to the need for a new generation of small cells which can radically improve the range and quality of services MNOs can deliver to enterprise customers. These new platforms need to be optimised for the enterprise and designed to maximise coverage, high mobility, local intelligence, and integration with existing systems such as PBX and WLAN. The gaps in existing solutions are driving an increased interest in the enterprise sector in such platforms which harness small cell technology, but also provide a strong local or hosted platform for network functionality, applications and integration. The new wave of small cell systems, when compared to early standalone offerings, offer the following advantages: • • Can be deployed by the operator or integrator as a coordinated, company-wide network with central control and management Support greater local intelligence, enabling a wider range of functionality and services at the network edge, close to the users. ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013 5
  9. 9. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise • • Support LTE or a migration to LTE for greater capacity and lower latency (higher QoS) Promise better cost effectiveness as the market achieves scale c. Moving core functionality to the network edge A vital element of their ability to deliver all the requirements outlined above is their support for a high level of intelligence at the edge of the network. In other words, the small cells should have local processing and functionality, rather than being ‘dumb’ access points which have to communicate constantly with the macro network and the operator’s central packet core. This is the thinking that underpins and differentiates Quortus’s solution for the enterprise small cell market, the ECX Enterprise Concentrator and ECX Enterprise Gateway. This duo implements localised core functionality on a platform at the edge of the network, delivering all the core services to that company’s small cells. The core services supported will vary according to the needs of individual enterprises and the particular balance of voice, packet data and Wi-Fi in use. However, there are two key categories of function which are traditionally performed by the central packet core, but which can be far more efficient and responsive if they are offloaded to take place within the enterprise: Network efficiency: As mobile voice and data traffic rises, there is an urgent need to handle it more efficiently – analyzing each packet and prioritizing it according to importance, size or location; offloading some traffic to Wi-Fi or the internet; caching frequently used large files, such as videos, close to the user; handling call switching, ensuring QoS for voice. Localised services: Small cells enable the network to know which users are in which location and to deliver data and services accordingly. This can be used to improve enterprise efficiency and to support customer-facing applications. •DPI (deep packet inspection) •Network data •Caching •Offload •Social Network intelligence CEM •New view of the user •Responsive Content and apps Personalized Services •Augmented reality •Video •Promotions Figure 2 Key activities which can be moved to the edge of the network, to improve efficiency or support new functionality There are many advantages to offloading these categories of function to the edge: For the enterprise: The enterprise will have a much improved experience of mobile voice and data, comparable to that on fixed lines. This will improve its productivity and will enhance its relationship with its MNO provider. It will benefit from: ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013 6
  10. 10. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise • • • • Improved voice and SMS coverage and quality, together with full mobile hand-off Integration of mobile voice with enterprise systems such as PBX and IT applications Voice and data capacity that is scalable according to usage changes, at predictable cost that relates to increased usage Support for location and context aware services which can improve employee or customer satisfaction For the MNO: The MNO can improve its churn rates and even increase ARPU as its enterprise customers have higher levels of satisfaction, and become more reliant on the operator for critical business functions. Specifically, it benefits from: • • • • • • • Increased customer satisfaction with improved voice and data quality, leading to lower churn and a mores strategic relationship Reduced strain on macro network and backhaul because voice, data and signalling are offloaded A flexible platform with which to deliver added value to the enterprise, such as the ability to support location aware promotions. Scalability at affordable cost as enterprise usage rises Move security and policy management – such as local offloading based on APN (access point name) - close to the user, to tailor the network more efficiently to individual or group needs Reduce latency and congestion with local call handling and switching. The operator may explore new business relationships with the enterprise, for instance consulting on mobile applications. It may also be able to pursue new ways of engaging, which reduce its risk but increase revenue. For instance, some deployments may see the MNO owning and managing the small cell network, but the enterprise’s own integrators deploying it, thus giving the operator revenues without the cost and risk of build-out. This reflects the traditional distributed model of the internet far better than the centralized mobile approach, and edge-based intelligence is supported by the implementation of a new breed of small cells, which are optimized for local processing of voice and data, fully integrated with SIP/PBX functions, and managed by a which performs many of the functions of the mobile core, either on the premises or in the cloud. ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013 7
  11. 11. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise 4,000 3,500 3,000 ,000 units 2,500 Small cells 2,000 Processing 1,500 1,000 500 0 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Figure 3 Deployment of enterprise small cells to 2018, and the number which will feature localized processing and intelligence (directly or via a controller). Source: Rethink Research forecast June 2013 The attractiveness of this approach in addressing a wider range of enterprise requirements, while complementing existing Wi-Fi and landline systems, is seen in the expected uptake of intelligent small cells in the coming years. By 2018, out of a total of 3.4m small cells deployed by enterprise (cellular or cellular/Wi-Fi), just over half will incorporate local intelligence and processing capability to support some or all of the functions outlined above. ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013 8
  12. 12. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise 4. The Quortus solution The Quortus Enterprise Controller solution taps into the need for edge-based processing and core functionality. It allows the mobile core to follow the same pattern that is seen in access network hardware – to be distributed away from the center and towards the edge. It implements the voice and packet core as a lightweight software application which can be run on standard hardware such as an x86based server (it has even been demonstrated on a Raspberry Pi), or can be embedded on a router or on the small cell itself. It can also be support a cloud-based platform owned by an MNO or other third party, which can then offer hosted services for enterprise voice, data or other functions. This managed service approach opens up additional efficiencies and revenue opportunities for MNOs, especially when targeting SMBs. Whether on-premises or in the cloud, the Enterprise Controller is run by the MNO or integrator and supports a group of small cells which deliver localized voice, text and data services over the office LAN. The software supports local intelligence and many mobile core functionalities, offloaded to the edge. It is compatible with multiple air interfaces and retains secure links to the main voice and packet core where required, but reduces the communications with the center, and therefore the strain on backhaul and gateways. It is PBX and Ubiquisys aligned with emerging standards in this area to ensure that it is future-proof and can integrate with systems that Quortus and Ubiquisys, now part evolve in future. As outlined in Chapter 3, Quortus has of Cisco, have collaborated on worked closely with the Small Cell Forum on its Release implementing a complete mobile Two program for enterprise small cells and supports its PBX on a small cell, eliminating ESCC (enterprise small cell concentrator) and ESCG deskphones but retaining the (enterprise small cell gateway) specifications as well as functions of the PBX such as emerging 3GPP definitions. conference calling and call routing. In the demonstration, This reflects a broader operator interest in virtualising key the Quortus EdgeCentrix network functions on standard servers, often in the cloud, application ran on Ubiquisys’s rather than relying on dedicated hardware for each Smart Cell – a companion to a process. The packet core is expected to be the first small base station, which element to be fully virtualised by many operators, but that provides Intel-based processing remains some years away because of the complexity and power close to the user. risk of migrating the critical central core. For the enterprise, however, these benefits can be achieved now without affecting the operator’s central core. The Quortus system supports the main core functions which meet the enterprise needs as outlined in chapter 2, such as local voice, data and mobility offload and PBX integration. They can handle session creation, switching and hand-off; traffic compression and aggregation; and edge caching and presence information for mobile apps. The small cells can be run as a complete and self-contained network in their own right, but can also interoperate with other networks and with local SIP services. A dedicated enterprise core also supports: • • • • • Aggregation for coverage scaling Service convergence where the services are used Better integration with non-cellular systems such as WLANs and PBX Greater control by the enterprise IT department of its whole network including cellular Separation of the IT and MNO domains at the point that suits the enterprise’s particular model In addition, by keeping new services and innovations separate from the MNO’s precious packet core, enterprises and operators are encouraged to try new and even disruptive approaches, whose impact and risk is confined to the edge rather than affecting the whole network. ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013 9
  13. 13. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise a. The key functionalities of the Quortus ECX solution As outlined, to support the enterprise business case and requirements outlined in the previous sections, the ECX Enterprise Concentrator and Gateway together support four key areas of functionality: • • • • Iuh aggregation Mobility offload Voice and data offload Local service interaction All these are supported by leveraging standard VoIP protocols such as SIP, allowing the Enterprise Controller to be integrated with on-premise or hosted IP-PBX voice servers so that smartphones can appear as local extensions, and be fully integrated with enterprise networks and functions. IP data sessions initiated by a mobile device can be placed directly on to the enterprise LAN, giving the user direct IP access to the organisation’s Intranet. They are also in line with the Small Cell Forum’s Release Two architecture, particularly the ESCC and ESCG elements. ESCC (enterprise small cell concentrator) performs Iuh aggregation while ESCG (enterprise small cell gateway) is the basis for mobility offload. Iuh aggregation: This allows network coverage and capacity to be scaled up flexibly and simply, as enterprise needs grow. Multiple local cells are aggregated and can behave as a single network, with unified management and simplified link to the macro network and the enterprise IT systems. As traffic and functions increase, additional cells can be added in a ‘fan-out’ pattern. Mobility offload: The signalling traffic from ‘chatty’ smartphone applications such as instant messaging, which continually poll the base station, are almost as big a strain on the macro network as data, especially in an enterprise environment where users may be continuously on the move, handing over multiple times as they walk along a corridor, for instanceTherefore, there are the same motivations for operators to offload signalling traffic as data packets, so that it does not all hit the main core, and they can reduce cost and outage risk in their macro network. The Enterprise Controller can reduce the burden of signalling on the ‘real’ core (femtocell gateway and MSC/SGSN), and that also provides the enterprise with higher reliability and QoS, and lower outage risk. It can also handle explosions in signalling in future as the numbers of calls, and small cells, rises. The controller ensures continuity of voice and data calls when handed out to the macro network, but the bulk of signalling will be between small cells in the enterprise network, and so this will be kept away from the macro network, and will support faster, higher quality handovers. Voice and data offload: As noted previously, when voice is offloaded from the macro network it allows mobile devices to take advantage of IP-PBX functions when in the enterprise, appearing as SIP extensions even while mobile authentication is still taking place on the carrier’s macro network. Standard devices can be used, with so software download required, and users may have a separate SIM for the private network, which can be fully controlled using enterprise policies and rules. The controller, whether local or hosted, handles functionality such as dialplan management, user identity, emergency call handling (even if the macro network fails), macro hand-in/hand-out, and local P-CSCF anchoring for VoLTE calls, when those are supported by the mobile carrier. Data offload is even more important to reducing the burden on the macro network – and therefore improving QoS for the enterprise – than voice and signalling. In the Quortus solution, the local or cloudbased controller supports the LIPA (Local IP Access) and Local Gateway concepts, which allow users to ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013 10
  14. 14. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise access the enterprise network directly without recourse to the main core. Offload can be carried out by individual access point, enabling services to be personalized and resources distributed according to need. Local service interaction: For many enterprises, the business case for small cells will rely on additional value being seen, on top of improved coverage and capacity. Key to this will be integration of cellular connections and devices into other enterprise functions, extending unified communications to include cellular, and thus enabling new ways of working and new services. In particular, the integration of mobile devices into the IT ecosystem will enable the company to tap into the third party applications base, and there is work being done to create APIs that are specific to small cells, allowing developers to create apps which harness the cells’ location and context awareness. That location precision also allows for very granular analytics and targeted services such as promotions to consumers. b. Customer premises or cloud-hosted - where is the edge? A key differentiator of the Quortus enterprise solution is that it can be based on a local controller in the enterprise premises – on a server, a virtual machine or dedicated hardware – or it can be cloud-based. The latter option offers some interesting opportunities for MNOs, or third party providers, to provide hosted and SCaaS (small cell as a service) offerings. These are indicated to be particularly appealing to small and medium businesses which do not have in-house IT and communications resources but have the same pressures to scale up wireless networks, and improve functionality and services, as their larger peers. As Figure 4 and Figure 5 show, the local and cloud models support the same key functions, but with the Quortus software differently located. In effect, in the cloud model, the edge of the network is a virtual or logical one, between the MNO central core and the cloud-hosted local core – the latter delivering services to the enterprise customers. In the hosted model, the Iuh small cells are backhauled through the security gateway. Voice Packet Data MNO Core network Network edge Quortus ECX Consumer / Enterprise space Figure 4 The physical edge of the network, where the edge is collocated with the radio but the MNO boundary remains protected ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013 11
  15. 15. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise The ‘cloud’ Voice Packet Data Hosted PBX MNO Core network Quortus ECX Hosted PBX Hosting SP Consumer / Enterprise space Figure 5 The logical edge, where the enterprise concentrator functionality is deployed in the cloud as a hosted service. Third party service providers can add value in this model and there is no impact on the physical edge. The MNO boundary remains protected and this is compatible with legal intercept requirements ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013 12
  16. 16. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise 5. Conclusion: The business case summarised: The small cell business case for enterprises is compelling, as outlined in Chapter 3 and the SCF’s Release Two program documents. However, the case becomes even more attractive when an enterprise controller is implemented. The Quortus Enterprise Controller has been designed to align with the requirements of wireless businesses, as described in this paper and in SCF’s Release Two documents. There are different benefits to be derived by the operator and the enterprise. For the operator: • • • • • • • Reduce capex and opex costs of central core and backhaul with offload of significant volumes of voice, data and mobility signalling to the edge Reduce cost and risk of upgrading central core by enabling software-based upgrade for enterprise customers only. Can extend the usable life of the current core functionality and support a clear migration path to LTE, giving the operator the flexibility to move to 4G at the right moment for the business. More strategic role in enterprise communications, which may enable additional future revenues and services Improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn Opportunity to provide hosted small cell services especially for SMBs Support new engagement models eg where the MNO owns the managed service but the enterprise’s own integrators supply and install the equipment, opening up an MNO revenue stream with limited deployment cost and risk. For the enterprise: • • • • • • Access enterprise PBX services from mobile handsets without proprietary downloads, potentially enabling costly landline phones to be eliminated Greater control over mobile charges, usage and security, important in a BYOD environment to reduce cost and risk Improve user experience with mobile hand-off, better coverage and PBX functions, leading to improved employee satisfaction and retention, and more efficient working and productivity Supports new ways of working such as hotdesking Improve data capacity and QoS with dedicated cellular bandwidth. Better data access improves business processes and competitiveness Support value added services which may drive loyalty and/or revenues from customers and partners This indicates the reasons why enterprises are increasingly looking to implement more advanced small cell solutions, which will work with and enhance their existing Wi-Fi and IP systems. It also highlights why operators are keen to move more functionality to the edge and offer enterprises a managed solution which can greatly improve their ability to win corporate business. The SCF Release Two architectures will help them in this process by encouraging the development of interoperable solutions based on these specifications, and providing best practice. That, in turn, reduces cost and risk for MNOs and their enterprise customers. By aligning its solution clearly with the SCF’s platform, Quortus is future-proofing its offering even while it takes a pioneering role in the trend to offload enterprise mobile traffic to the edge of the network where it can support the highest quality and business value. ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013 13
  17. 17. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise About Quortus: Quortus is changing the nature of mobile networks by taking core network functionality and distilling into cost-effective software applications that can be installed anywhere including on small cells, off the shelf commodity hardware and in the cloud. Adaptable and deployable in a variety of settings, Quortus' solutions allow voice and data requests to be handled locally where possible saving on backhaul costs. They can be used in conjunction with small cells such as in enterprises to create all-mobile PBXs in remote locations to significantly reduce the cost of deploying cellular services. Operators can also run Quortus' Soft Core Network technology on third party data centres to enable a hosted core network model which slashes the CAPEX of building out a core network. The company is headquartered in the UK. Quortus Limited 3000 Cathedral Hill Guildford GU2 7YB United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1483 243536 Email: enquiries@quortus.com ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013 14
  18. 18. Putting cellular at the core of the enterprise About Rethink Technology Research: Rethink Technology Research is a research firm and consultancy specializing in business models and technologies for mobile and wireless service providers. It carries out extensive surveys about the deployment plans, and business strategies, of mobile, fixed/mobile and Wi-Fi operators. It also works closely with the vendor community, regulators, standards bodies and investment companies to monitor the upcoming trends in wireless networks. Its joint venture, Maravedis-Rethink, offers the leading research services focused specifically on mobile operators’ infrastructure, from RAN to core to backhaul. These include MOSA (Mobile Operator Strategy Analysis). The company publishes news and analysis of mobile broadband issues on a weekly basis in its Wireless Watch product, as well as regular research notes to clients and financial analysts. Rethink also engages regularly as a consultant with operators, suppliers, regulators and the financial community, usually advising on next generation wireless business models, and so has a deep insight into the real issues in the market, as opposed to the hype. As well as collecting knowledge and intelligence through constant contact with the vendor, operator and financial communities, Rethink has a unique database of operators and service providers worldwide and collects data from them on a quarterly basis. Caroline Gabriel Research Director Rethink Technology Research Ltd caroline@rethinkresearch.biz Tel: +44 (0)207 450 1230 www.rethinkresearch.biz ©Rethink Technology Research Ltd 2013 15

×