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Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative
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Whitepaper mpls mobile_backhaul_initiative

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  1. Abstract:MPLS Mobile Backhaul Initiative Mobile backhaul is a critical part of the mobile network that links the Radio Access Network (RAN)(MMBI) for 3G/WiMAX/LTE and the mobile core networks. Service providers are rapidly moving to next generation wireless technologies like 3G, Mobile WiMAX and LTE to satisfy the growing demand of bandwidth and marginal overall growth in average revenue per user. In this new situation, backhaul networks with many cell sites have become the “bottleneck”Authors: offering insufficient capacity to support higher bandwidths and often expensive to upgrade. To address the problem, operators are migrating fromAnkur Rawat and existing separate, legacy ATM and TDMSasindran M. Prabhu backhauling networks to a more cost-effective, converged, MPLS-enabled, and multi-purpose infrastructure. In addition to reducing operational costs, MPLS-based networks will also lay the foundations for the delivery of next generation mobile services such as location-based services, mobile gaming and Mobile TV. This paper provides an overview of IP/MPLS Forum‟s Mobile Backhaul Initiative, the challenges which operators are facing in current situation, proposed reference architecture and business benefits of using MPLS in the Mobile Backhaul.
  2. Table of ContentsIntroduction to Mobile Backhaul.................................................3Market trends and Challenges……………………………………………..4IP/MPLS Forum‟s MPLS Mobile Backhaul Initiative (MMBI)…………6MMBI Architecture Overview……………………………………………….9Business Benefits of IP/MPLS Forum‟s MMBI………………………..11Market Prospects and Vendor Offerings………………………………..12Conclusion…………………………………………………………………….14Tech Mahindra‟s Plan………………………………………………..........15References......................................................................................16 © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 -1-
  3. Acronyms and AbbreviationsATM Asynchronous Transfer ModeBS Base StationBSC Base Station ControllerBTS Base Transceiver StationIP Internet ProtocolLTE Long Term EvolutionMMBI MPLS Mobile Backhaul InitiativeMPLS Multiprotocol Label SwitchingMSC Mobile Switching CenterQoS Quality Of ServiceRNC Radio Network ControllerRTP Real Time ProtocolsSDH Synchronous Digital HierarchySONET Synchronous Optical NetworkTDM Time Division MultiplexingTNL Transport Network LayerWIMAX Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 -2-
  4. Introduction to Mobile BackhaulMobile backhaul network spreads from the first transport equipmentconnecting cell sites (e.g., BTSs/Node Bs/eNBs sites) to the transportaggregation equipment connecting central sites (e.g., BSCs/RNCs/aGWssites). The mobile backhaul is considered to be consisting of three segments,i.e., access network, aggregation network and metro/regional network. Fig 1: Mobile Backhaul Network OverviewThe mobile backhaul must be capable of transporting diverse mobile servicesincluding 2G, 3G and future LTE services. The logical interfaces and theservices transported through the mobile backhaul are summarized in Table 1. Table 1: Interfaces and Services © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 -3-
  5. The 2G Abis interface between BTS and BSC can be based on TDM. The 3GIub interface between Node B and RNC can be based on ATM/IMA and IP overEthernet. From a logical perspective, the Abis and Iub interfaces are purelystatic point-to-point connections.In the LTE network, the eNB has S1 and X2 interfaces. The S1 interfaceterminates on the aGW. The X2 interface runs between eNBs and is used forneighbor discovery, handovers and cell optimization. Each eNB needs to beable to communicate with its direct neighbors. Based on LTE ongoingstandardization and implementation, most likely, the S1 and X2 interfaces willbe based on IP over Ethernet.Two types of fundamental connections must be established in the mobilebackhaul. One is the point-to-point connection between the transportequipment connecting the cell sites and the transport equipment connectingthe central sites for transporting Abis, Iub and S1. The other is the point-to-point connection between the transport equipments/interfaces connecting twoeNBs for transporting X2.Market Trends and ChallengesThe mobile communications industry continues to grow at a significant pace.Industry sources report the following facts and figures: The number of worldwide mobile subscribers hit 3.3 billion in 2007 and will grow to 5.2 billion by 2011* 2.9 million Backhaul connections worldwide in 2006, grown to 4.8 million by 2009* Two out of every three towers already have more than one mobile operator on it. Evolving backhaul requirements per cell site: 2-16 T1/E1s in 2006; 2-8 T1/E1s and 10-30 Mbps Ethernet in 2010 Mobile operators pay incremental charges for 2x to 10x bandwidth* © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 -4-
  6. Legacy backhaul networks are prohibitively expensive. In the U.S. alone, mobile operators‟ transport costs have increased from $2 billion in 2006 to $16 billion in 2009 Fierce competition is squeezing margins while new data and video appliances such as Apple‟s iPhone, Samsung‟s Instinct and LG‟s Voyager are driving demand for more bandwidth Growing dependence on mobile connectivity Exponential traffic growth in parallel to flat or low growth of average revenue per user (ARPU) The bandwidth increase will primarily be on Best Effort data user services and driven by „flat fee business models‟** More technologies need to be supported: 2G/GSM, 2G/CDMA, 3G/UMTS, 3G/EVDO, HSDPA, WiMAX and LTE Evolution towards Ethernet and IP-based backhaul solutions.* Infonetics Research Mobile Backhaul Equipment, Installed Base andServices,** Lightreading.The new 3G-based services will require a substantial increase in bandwidth,which will in turn lead to greater mobile backhaul costs. It is estimated thatbackhaul can account for as much as 30% of a mobile operator‟s operatingcosts (Opex) (source: Yankee Group, 2005).The cost of backhaul is not the only consideration in the migration to 3G. Aswell as extra traffic, backhaul will need to be able to handle a range of newfunctionality, including Quality of Service (QoS) and resiliency management.These new elements will become increasingly important as mobile operatorsmigrate towards packet-based backhaul networks.Mobile operators will also be required to protect existing legacy technologyinvestments for some years. At the same time operators will need a backhaulstrategy that is “future proof” and will be able to support a new generation ofnetworks and access technologies such as LTE. This requires the mobile © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 -5-
  7. backhaul network to support many different generations of technologiessimultaneously.The new backhaul infrastructure must therefore meet three main criteria: itmust be flexible (to support both legacy and IP services), scalable (to supportemerging future technologies) and cost-effective (to compensate for risinglevels of backhaul traffic). It also needs to be a converged network, whichmeans the operator does not need to run two separate networks (leased linesand IP).These market trends have made backhaul a strategic asset for mobileoperators and one that is currently a major area of investment; these trendswill grow as further air interface enhancements (HSPA, EV-DO, Rev C, mobileWiMAX etc.) are rolled-out. However, global ARPU trends remain only flat ornegative, despite uplift in the proportion of revenues relating to higher-bandwidth data services. This creates a major business challenge withbackhaul as a significant bottleneckIP/MPLS Forum’s MPLS Mobile Backhaul Initiative (MMBI)The IP/MPLS Forum is tackling the backhaul challenges via its MPLS MobileBackhaul Initiative (MMBI). The initiative aims to leverage the benefits ofMPLS technology in the backhaul by providing a framework for a single MPLSaggregation/backhaul network that is flexible, scalable and economical.The IP/MPLS Forum‟s MPLS Mobile Backhaul Initiative (MMBI) proposes aframework for the use of MPLS technology to bring solutions to transport RANbackhaul traffic over access, aggregation and core networks.The framework describes possible deployment scenarios and providesrecommendations on how to deploy MPLS in each of these scenarios. This willcreate a reference guide that will allow vendors and operators to select theappropriate feature sets for their specific scenario. The focus is on a sharednetwork infrastructure that is able to support (emulate) existing legacyservices (2G, 2.5G) as well as new services based on 3G and beyond (Eg:HSPA, LTE). This will enable a migration path between existing legacy ATMand TDM backhaul networks to a more cost-effective, converged, MPLS-enabled, and multi-purpose network. © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 -6-
  8. The work is independent from the air interface technology wherever possiblebut allows for the possibility that some specific backhaul requirements relatedto the air interface may need to be considered.Areas within the scope of the initiative include: QoS considerations (Eg; tosupport specific service types), resiliency capabilities, clocking andsynchronization, Operations and Maintenance (OAM), and support for variousTransport Network Layers (TNLs), LTE and mobile WiMAX. Fig 2: Scope of MMBI © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 -7-
  9. Also IP/MPLS forum has described the key requirements for mobile backhaulin the following table. Table 2: Mobile Backhaul RequirementsIn addition, network clock and time synchronization plays a critical role whenmaking technology/vendor choice for mobile backhaul. It has particularrelevance for LTE, because this technology requires not only highly accurateclock frequency synchronization, it needs time sync as well.The following table depicts the requirement for frequency and time sync foreach of the major mobile technology: Table 3: Network Clock and Time Sync Requirements © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 -8-
  10. MMBI Architecture OverviewThe Broadband Forum has published the following technical specification: MPLS in Mobile Backhaul Networks Framework and Requirements Technical SpecificationThe Broadband Forum is currently working on the following technicalspecifications Mobile backhaul network for LTE Mobile backhaul network for 2G and 3GFigure 3 shows Broadband Forum‟s proposed reference architecture applied tocentralized mobile networks, depicting the Access, Aggregation and Core partsof the mobile backhaul network according to the type of TNL used over theAbis/Iub interface. This reference architecture corresponds to current andnear-term mobile 3G technologies (3GPP and 3GPP2). Fig 3: Reference Architecture for centralized mobile networks with MPLS for transport © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 -9-
  11. This reference architecture shows various MPLS use cases that are basedupon the type of the Transport network layer (TNL) carried over the MPLSnetwork. This reference architecture gives an overview of the functionalarchitecture without dealing with network node architecture. Four types ofTNL are considered in the work item (TDM TNL, ATM TNL, HDLC TNL and IPTNL) according to the mobile network generation. TDM TNL is used for2G/2.5G networks (GSM/GPRS, TDMA, and CDMA). HDLC TNL may be usedfor CDMA networks. ATM TNL is used for UMTS-R99, R4 networks, and IPTNL is used for UMTS R5, R6, R7, CDMA 2000, 3GPP2 networks. A detailedlisting of different TNL is provided in Table 4. Table 4: Different RANs of Centralized Mobile Networks with Corresponding TNLIn the context of this work, the scenarios arising out of these TNLs arehereafter referred to as TNL Scenarios since they refer to the transport serviceprovided by the MPLS network to the mobile network. Thus we have 4 TNLscenarios, TDM TNL, ATM TNL, IP TNL and HDLC TNL. © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 - 10 -
  12. Business Benefit of IP/MPLS MPLS Mobile Backhaul InitiativeThis architecture will directly impact mobile operators‟ by simplifyingoperations, reducing Opex and leveraging the cost benefits of backhaultechnologies such as Ethernet. It will also enable operators to support “nextgeneration” services such as location-based services (LBS), mobile IPTV andmobile gaming, and will be sufficiently flexible to protect investments in newand emerging technologies.This flexibility works in two ways: it will protect radio equipment investmentlegacy 2G/3G and it will be able to be re-used again as mobile operatorsmigrate to future technologies such as LTE and mobile WiMAX.MPLS is an established technology with proven support for providing QoS,traffic engineering (TE), legacy layer 1 and layer 2 emulation (via pseudowires)and resiliency features. These advantages can be leveraged for use in a widevariety of network architectures and applications such as Enterprise VPN,IPTV, and mobile backhaul among others.The same flexibility that lets MPLS be applied to these various applicationsallows it to be applied to legacy mobile backhaul networks as well as futuretechnologies such as LTE. For example, the same MPLS networkinfrastructure can be used to carry the legacy traffic pseudowires may also beused to carry and provide QoS guarantees to next generation LTE traffic.Additionally, MPLS can be deployed on any layer 2 technologies capable ofsupporting MPLS labelled switching.IP/MPLS - with its packet-switching advantages and pseudowire technology -is ideally suited to overcome the scalability limitations of traditional circuitbased technologies such as ATM and TDM. MPLS permits support of thesetechnologies using pseudowires to protect existing investments in legacyequipment. For future IP and Ethernet based interfaces, it is possible toaggregate traffic over single TE tunnels and provides differentiated services forthis aggregate so that QoS requirements are met while at the same timeproviding further improvements in scalability. © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 - 11 -
  13. Because a single service provider can leverage the MPLS network to meet therequirements of not only the diverse set of mobile backhaul technologies butalso to those of other applications, the MPLS network also provides economiesof scale. This has a significant impact in reducing both a service provider‟scapital and operational costs. Furthermore, investments in MPLS technologiesbenefit the service provider by making it “future proof” and still applicable inthe fast evolving mobile technology scenarios (eg: LTE and beyond).Market Prospects and Vendor Offerings in MMBI spaceIn the fixed-line network, the successful application of ADSL technology hasbrought a 2Mbps bandwidth to the end user‟s home. The increasing growth ofbroadband subscriber base results in huge demands for large bandwidth.Data traffic transferred through the provincial backbone transport networkaccounts for 90% of the total traffic. This indicates that the IP-based servicebearing has become the development trend in the industry. The future servicetransport network tends to be intelligent, highly integrated and broadband-enabled, which can be achieved by using the MPLS technology.Leading network operators such as British Telecom (BT), France Telecom (FT)and China Mobile have been actively participating in standardization of latestflavors of MPLS like MPLS-TP and have planned to use the MPLS-TPtechnology for service transport and mobile data backhaul. They have beenactively participating in and paying much attention to the development andtesting of related products by telecom equipment manufacturers.Leading telecom equipment manufacturers, such as Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco,Nortel, Nokia-Siemens, Ericsson, ZTE, Huawei, FiberHome, UTStarcom, etc.,have been actively involved in the R&D of the MPLS-TP technology and relatedstandardization work. For example, ZTE has implemented MPLS-TP relatedOAM and protection functions on its ZXR10 9000 and ZXCTN6100/6200/6300 product series and successfully trialed them over thenetworks of operators such as China Mobile and Telecom Malaysia. Huaweihas launched the PTN 912/OSN 3900/1900 series, FiberHome the CiTRANS660/620 series, UTStarcom the TN 725/705 series, Alcatel-Lucent the 1850TSS 320/40/5 series and Ericsson the OMS 2430/2450 series. © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 - 12 -
  14. On all accounts, both telecom equipment manufacturers and networkoperators have been actively engaged in the research and planning of the useMPLS technology in Mobile Backhaul environment. This indicates that MPLShas promising prospects and will play a key role in the future mobile backhaulnetwork.Companies like Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Huawei and Juniper are offeringIP/MPLS forum certified MMBI products. Table shown below gives the detailsof vendors, products and certified functionality. Vendor Product Certified Services 7750 Service Router, ALU 7705 Service Aggregation TDM over MPLS (T1 and E1) Router 7600 series Edge Router, Cisco 2941 Mobile Wireless TDM over MPLS (T1 and E1) Router CX600 Series Metro Service Huawei TDM over MPLS (E1) Platform BX7000 Multi-Access Juniper TDM over MPLS (T1) Gateway AXN1600/AXN800, Axerra TDM over MPLS (T1 and E1) AXN10/AXN1 Table 5: IP/MPLS Forum Certified Products © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 - 13 -
  15. ConclusionWireless traffic volume is growing at a staggering pace, driven by newhighspeed mobile services such as mobile video, multimedia messaging andweb browsing. This traffic growth is made possible by new 3G deploymentssuch as CDMA EV-DO and UMTS HSDPA, and with 4G technologies likeWiMAX and LTE on the horizon this trend is set to continue. The pressure formobile operators to leverage their networks further, while at the same timecreating a cohesive and logical transformation path towards the nextgeneration is at an all time high. Creativity and effective thinking "outside thebox" will be what distinguishes operators from one another.MPLS technology in the backhaul is the solution to this problem for a series ofreasons. The flexibility of the technology means it will offer benefits and costefficiencies in both legacy mobile backhaul and for future environments basedon new technologies such as LTE. This means existing technology investmentsare protected and at the same time ensures that the technology will remainsufficiently “future proof” and scalable.The goal of the IP/MPLS Forum is to provide guidelines on the architecture,scenarios and technology choices for IP/MPLS RAN backhaul within thevarious network environments (legacy, IP, converged).The MMBI framework is based on the mobile network definitions outlined bythe industry standards organizations (3GPP, 3GPP2, WiMAX Forum etc.) Thesolution is based on MPLS specifications and protocols developed at the IETF.The MMBI initiative is also being coordinated with other mobile backhaulactivities underway at industry organizations such as the Metro EthernetForum (MEF) and the DSL Forum. © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 - 14 -
  16. Tech Mahindra’s PlanBased on the Capabilities in MPLS, WiMAX, 3G, LTE and other data-communication technologies, Tech Mahindra will be able to contribute in thefollowing areas. Data plane module Control plane module OAM module MPLS, 3G, Wimax and LTE specific features EMS/NMS moduleBased on the opportunity from the vendors, we will be able to select amongthese activities: Requirement Analysis Product Design and Development Testing and Validation Interoperability Testing Network Design, Deployment and Maintenance for Telecom Service Providers. © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 - 15 -
  17. References IP/MPLS Forum MMBI Framework and Requirements Technical Specifications http://www.broadband-forum.org/downloads/MPLS- MobileBackhaul.pdf http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-193324910.html http://www.currentanalysis.com http://www.lightreading.com http://www.heavyreading.com http://www.wikipedia.orgAbout Tech MahindraTech Mahindra is part of the multi-billion (USD) Mahindra Group, inpartnership with British Telecommunications plc (BT), the world‟s leadingcommunications service provider. Focused primarily on thetelecommunications industry, Tech Mahindra is a leading global systemsintegrator, Business Process Outsourcing provider as well as Businesstransformation consulting organization. Tech Mahindra has recently expandedits IT portfolio by acquiring the leading global business and informationtechnology services company, Mahindra Satyam (earlier known as SatyamComputer Services). © Tech Mahindra Limited 2010 - 16 -

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