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WANI Network Architecture Proposal for TRAI PDO

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Trai has recently invited companies for a Pilot Wi-Fi open Network. Trai relates the same with PCOs which were used to do the voice calls and were very popular hotspots before the mobile phones or home landlines became the ultimate mode of communication.
Pilot project called as Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (WANI) is planned to run on a partnership model, wherein to setup Wi-Fi hotspots (or PDOs, Public Data offices) by acquiring bandwidth from multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and re-selling services as data to end customers at a lower rate

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WANI Network Architecture Proposal for TRAI PDO

  1. 1. WANI NETWORK ARCHITECTURE PROPOSAL FOR TRAI PDO
  2. 2. TRAI WANI Network Architecture: Draft Copyright 2017 Techplayon.com Table of Contents 1. Introduction ..............................................................................................................................................2 2. Architecture ..............................................................................................................................................3 3. The Core Network.....................................................................................................................................4 4.Public Data Office (P.D.O.) Area.................................................................................................................6 5. Public Data Office (P.D.O.) Aggregation....................................................................................................7 6. Public Data Office/Wi-Fi Access Point.......................................................................................................7 7. End to End Connectivity............................................................................................................................8 Table of Figure Figure 1: Network Architecture ....................................................................................................................3 Figure 2: Network Connectivity Flow............................................................................................................3 Figure 3: Wi-Fi Core Network........................................................................................................................4 Figure 4: P.D.O. Area.....................................................................................................................................6 Figure 5: P.D.O. Aggregation.........................................................................................................................7 Figure 6: P.D.O. and Wi-Fi Access Points ......................................................................................................8 Figure 7: P.D.O. and Wi-Fi Access Points ......................................................................................................9
  3. 3. TRAI WANI Network Architecture: Draft Copyright 2017 Techplayon.com 1. Introduction Trai has recently invited companies for a Pilot Wi-Fi open Network. Trai relates the same with PCOs which were used to do the voice calls and were very popular hotspots before the mobile phones or home landlines became the ultimate mode of communication. Pilot project called as Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (WANI) is planned to run on a partnership model, wherein to setup Wi-Fi hotspots (or PDOs, Public Data offices) by acquiring bandwidth from multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and re-selling services as data to end customers at a lower rate The whole idea is to reduce the cost of deployment by working on a sharing model, wherein a PDO aggregator can aggregate e.g. backhaul bandwidth from multiple providers and provide services to the PDO owners at much lower cost price. We may relate it closely with MVNO operation for licensed spectrum, where in MVNO operator uses spectrum and network elements setup by other operator but sell the services with MVNO’s name and plans, this way CAPEX and OPEX cost is saved by MVNO and networks are deployed much faster. We may call this initiative as MVNO for Wi-Fi. What it does is allow small entrepreneurs, shop keepers, school etc. to be able to deploy Carrier grade Wi-Fi networks. Another important point mentioned by TRAI was the cost of the vouchers which can be purchased via apps or online. Price of voucher starts from INR 2 to INR 20. As per the paper, this will also boost the last mile connectivity especially in rural areas which telecom operator ignores due to less revenue and high CAPEX/OPEX. In this paper we have tried to come up with a design for Carrier Grade, Neutral/Vendor agnostic PDO architecture. While designing this network we focused on: 1) Open network theory, low CAPEX/OPEX, user friendly connectivity, secure network and time to market strategy. 2) We not only focused to make the network seamless and provide best quality of services to the end users but also to help deployment operator/vendor to monetize hence to promote more operators. 3) We do understand backhaul connectivity is a critical issue in India hence suggested multiple backhaul strategies to reduce time to market and keep cost down. 4) We focused on Applications for users (PDO finder, Local Market, Chat platforms, Payment wallets, Banking, Citizen Broadcast, Feedback apps etc.), edge content caching (Local favorite/popular content) for reduction of bandwidth requirements. 5) We specially created offline applications for Connectivity App, Trouble tickets and Vouchers. 6) We also included E-books/ online tutorials for children. 7) Content filtering, Lawful interception and Firewall are also part of network design. 8) During emergency, the same network can be used for Emergency services for Broadcast messages and SOS services which will be integrated with local police and reserve forces.
  4. 4. TRAI WANI Network Architecture: Draft Copyright 2017 Techplayon.com 2. Architecture Three major building blocks around which the whole network is designed are: 1) Carrier Grade Neutral Core Network: Vendor agnostic cloud based Core network can be setup at centralized location for each circle. The connectivity to this site is most important. The Core network would be based on open source hardware. We will discuss the elements in the core network in later section. 2) PDO Aggregation/ Area/ WLC-WAG/ Controller: Level two on the architecture is the controllers which can be based on the OEMs involved for Wi-Fi access points. Currently WLC/WAG are OEM specific and hence PDO aggression can be based on vendors. But having said that we shall promote OEMs to make open source hardware, software and solutions. We will discuss more about the elements in later sections. 3) PDO/Wi-Fi Access Points: These are the access points or Wi-Fi routers which will be hotspots for users to connect. Figure 1: Network Architecture High level connectivity flow chart or diagram below, users will connect to Wi-Fi access points/PDOs which will be aggregated at WLC/PDO Agg. The data will travel over backhaul network to the Central core network and to the internet. Figure 2: Network Connectivity Flow
  5. 5. TRAI WANI Network Architecture: Draft Copyright 2017 Techplayon.com 3. The Core Network The Core network shall at-least consist of the following elements: 1) OSS/BSS and AAA/Firewall: For user authentication, billing, charging, KPIs/Counters. Also if mobile data offload is the use case e-PDG or MDO specific entities also needs to be integrated. During our design evaluation we focused to make sure the elements which are vendor independent and can be shared to be situated at/near core network. Firewall and other security elements are also part of architecture. The design also made sure we support local breakout at the Level2/Area rather than coming to central core time and again. Figure 3: Wi-Fi Core Network 2) Data Analytics: Data Analytics based on CM/PM/FM will play a major role. More Analytics can be performed on user’s usage pattern, geographies and application data. These innovative analytics results will help to push new marketing schemes, Advertisements (similar to google ads, Facebook ads. To help monetization) and design new plans for users. The data analytics will also provide customer experience, insight to quality of service and inform about need of network expansion.
  6. 6. TRAI WANI Network Architecture: Draft Copyright 2017 Techplayon.com 3) Voucher Management: As TRAI specifically mentioned about low-cost vouchers, hence vouchers, gift cards, data packs can be designed and pushed from here. 4) Application server: Apps play a major role in today’s data usage. We therefore have included various applications such as PDO finder, Local Market, Chat platforms, Payment wallets, Banking , Citizen Broadcast, Feedback apps etc. 5) Payment Gateways are also included centrally for online e-payment transactions starting from buying vouchers to online shopping. This helps foreign visitors also to have ease of buying data packs. 6) Universal Content such as Television Channels, Radio stations, Netflix etc. which can be seen by global customers including every state in India. 7) Internet gateway is connectivity to Internet services.
  7. 7. TRAI WANI Network Architecture: Draft Copyright 2017 Techplayon.com 4.Public Data Office (P.D.O.) Area The Core network would be connected to more specific area network, the analogy can be core network is placed at every circle or state, PDO aggregation/Area can be city under the State. Area will have the following elements: 1) Area/ WLC/WAG: Aggregators or Controllers for configuration, tunneling and local breakout of the internet network can be possible from the Area level Figure 4: P.D.O. Area 2) Hyperlocal content: Being one step closer to areas/people we recommend having hyperlocal content such as area specific popular content. E.g. Movie trailer which is getting popular in particular area. 3) Applications, e-Books and Tutorials: Local content caching for students offline/online content shall be available. 4) Location based services, Backhaul and Lawful Interception. Location based services is part of improvement of QOS and real-time marketing (real time advertisement, push notifications and feedbacks). Backhaul is required for connectivity; Lawful interception is for regulatory compliance and to trace users in case of certain conditions.
  8. 8. TRAI WANI Network Architecture: Draft Copyright 2017 Techplayon.com 5. Public Data Office (P.D.O.) Aggregation PDO Aggregation: We can compare the PDO aggregation. with Wi-Fi Hotspots or number of Wi-Fi APs in one locality. Generally, this area can be termination of High quality and high throughput backhaul and from here the connectivity can be co-axial cables, CAT6/LAN cable, Point to Point links which can be last mile. Societies, Villages, Colonies can be example of PDO aggregation. Figure 5: P.D.O. Aggregation 6. Public Data Office/Wi-Fi Access Point We can compare these to access points at home or any public locations. The access points can be bought off the self and would be a plug and play module with offline authentication. The idea is to have the deployment so easy that even a shopkeeper can deploy the same. The PDO owner would be provided with • Applications to keep track of number of connected users, No of Vouchers sold physical or online. Application will provide initimation of any network outages etc. • Owners will have offline vidoes/ content to do very basic troubleshooting and create trouble tickets incase the conenction is down. • Applications for users so that they can find PDOs. 1) Offline/Physical Vouchers : Vouchers can be purchased online or physically from PDO owners.
  9. 9. TRAI WANI Network Architecture: Draft Copyright 2017 Techplayon.com 2) Geofencing and LBS ( Location based services) : Special discounts, push notifications for returning users, for new plans etc. 3) Local Advertisement: Local advertisement of offers in near by shop, restaurant, book stores etc. to monetize and help people to move to online platforms. Figure 6: P.D.O. and Wi-Fi Access Points 7. End to End Connectivity In India operators don’t pay much attention to the rural areas due to very less ROI and hence the areas are never properly connected. With very few options of connectivity the TRAI PDO model provides alternative to the licensed operator deployments. The Wi-Fi can be deployed on unlicensed spectrum, the cost of deployment is fraction compared to telecom. The major challenge would be the backhaul or transport connectivity. In India where even <25% telecom towers are connected over fiber. Also being a developing country the fiber cuts are very common. Hence it is very important to find alternative (cheaper and faster deployable) backhauls options.
  10. 10. TRAI WANI Network Architecture: Draft Copyright 2017 Techplayon.com Figure 7: P.D.O. and Wi-Fi Access Points In this design, we have considered carrier grade/high availability fiber/MW network for connectivity between PDO Aggregation, Core Network and Internet Gateways. For last mile, PDOs (Wi-Fi access points) various unlicensed backhauls can be used such as P2P, 60GHz Gigabit backhaul, Wi-Fi Mesh backhaul on 2.4GHz or 5Ghz etc. This paper is based on our research and as we go forward multiple versions and upgrades can be possible. This is an initiative to define and come closer to the actual architecture required for TRAI WANI. We will try to cover the backhaul and Access Point dimensioning in our next whitepaper.

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