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Migrating SONET/SDH to Carrier Ethernet:A Win-Win for Mobile Service Providers
As mobile service providers adapt their radio access networks (RANs) to incorporatemore bandwidth-intensive services, costs for RAN backhaul are eroding average revenueper user (ARPU). Because traditional circuit-switched transport architectures are difficultto adapt for higher data speeds, providers seek alternative ways to scale bandwidth in theRAN while saving operating expenses.
Migration from SONET/SDH to Carrier Ethernet technology in the RAN for backhaul offers manybenefits for mobile service providers and their customers. This paper presents cost-benefitanalyses and describes Carrier Ethernet solutions that deliver equivalent quality of service (QoS),traffic engineering, and failover performance to previous SONET/SDH solutions. The Cisco
Mobile Transport over Pseudowires (MToP) solution for RAN aggregation, that allows for anincremental, cost-efficient transition to a Carrier Ethernet RAN without service disruption, is alsodescribed.
Many mobile service providers are in the process of adapting their RANs to incorporate innovative,high-speed data services such as third- and fourth-generation (3G and 4G) High-Speed PacketAccess (HSPA), WiMAX, and CDMA Single Carrier Evolved Data Optimized (1xEV-DO). As thevolume of such bandwidth-intensive traffic grows, the costs for RAN backhaul growcorrespondingly, lowering ARPU. Indeed, the average revenue per megabit for data service is farlower than for traditional voice and text messaging but consumers are demanding mobilebroadband services at affordable prices. Adapting traditional circuit-switched transportarchitectures to support these new services is proving cumbersome and expensive. Mobile serviceproviders are therefore looking for alternative ways to scale bandwidth in the RAN while reducingtheir growing operating expenses.RAN backhaul is one of the last areas of the mobile operator’s infrastructure not yet redesigned toefficiently handle IP broadband traffic. Cisco is promoting the migration from SONET/SDH toCarrier Ethernet technology in the RAN for backhaul to significantly increase performance whilelowering operating expense. By migrating to Carrier Ethernet for RAN backhaul, mobile serviceproviders with either leased or owned SONET/SDH network infrastructures can:
Save money in the near and long term using packet-switched instead of circuit-switchedconnections
Simplify their operations
More easily scale their networks
Increase available bandwidth and add flexibility to bandwidth usage
Maintain high security, reliability, and availability
Quickly deploy next-generation IP applications with pseudowires