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Sdh Based Ran to Ip Based Ran

Sdh Based Ran to Ip Based Ran

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 White Paper
 © 2008 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Page 1 of 8
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.
Overview
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
 
 
White Paper
 © 2008 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Page 2 of 8
By migrating from SONET/SDH to Carrier Ethernet technology in the RAN using IP MultiprotocolLabel Switching (IP/MPLS), mobile service providers can save between 25 to 40 percent inbackhaul costs over a five-year period while increasing speeds up to 10 Gbps. For mobile serviceproviders, the cost and efficiency benefits are immediate. For those providers that own theirSONET/SDH infrastructures, the efficiency benefits from increasing bandwidth and more easilydeploying 3G and 4G services can be realized right away. Capital expense savings are realized inthe longer term from reduced transmission costs and enhanced profit margins, market share, andcompetitiveness.The right migration solution lets mobile service providers flexibly and cost-effectively evolve to apacket-based solution while maintaining the familiarity and resiliency of existing TDM and ATM-based network infrastructures. Such a solution is a part of the Cisco IP Next-Generation Network(IP NGN) vision and architecture, which is designed to support the ongoing migration fromtraditional networks, to hybrid networks with traditional and IP NGN infrastructure, to an eventualall-IP network. Although Cisco refers to this vision as “next-generation,” this architecture is fullydeployable today for services including Three-Screen IPTV and IP Service Level Agreement(SLA).
Challenge
The popularity of email, Internet and intranet access, and video sharing on mobile devices isputting pressure on the existing circuit-switched RAN infrastructures of mobile service providers.Cisco has found that several mobile service providers on different continents see data trafficcomprising 30 percent of all traffic in 2008 and expect it to be 50 percent of their traffic by 2010.These same providers anticipate needing to provide 25 Mbps of bandwidth for urban mobilecustomers by 2010.In a typical SONET/SDH network topology, SDH rings connect cell sites and aggregation sites atSTM 1/4 and STM 4/16 speeds (Figure 1). The growth of bandwidth is driving demand for cellaggregation nodes or cell site gateways. This equipment is responsible for traffic management andforwarding functions, including grooming, optimization, and data offload. It is deployed at cell sitesor remote aggregation nodes, between base stations and the transmission network.
Figure 1.
Typical SDH Topology in the RAN
 
 
White Paper
 © 2008 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Page 3 of 8
With SONET/SDH, increasing the speed of even one ring from STM1 to STM4 could adverselyaffect the other rings. With the typical 100 Mbps speeds with Carrier Ethernet services shared,increasing rates in modest increments will not impact different network layers. The RAN is themajor area of expense because mobile service providers typically have hundreds or thousands ofcell sites, and upgrading gear and increasing bandwidth makes these the most expensive parts ofthe network.Transmission costs account for approximately 19 percent of the overall cost of delivering data toan end user in today’s 2G and 3G networks, according to 2007 estimates by Unstrung Insider. Butwith backhaul architectures based on leased lines, these costs could increase to 80 percent ofoperating expenses as cell sites are upgraded to their maximum capacities with currentarchitectures. Reducing this cost is vital to a provider’s long-term financial stability as trafficvolumes grow and ARPU declines.The RAN is currently dominated by circuit-switched SONET/SDH technology, an always-ontransport that is much more expensive per bit than Ethernet traffic. With circuit-switched voice, forexample, the line is transmitting all the time, whether or not calls are in progress. Whentransporting voice over IP packetized networks, the line is only used when calls are placed andwords are spoken. ATM network overlays were a step toward adapting circuit-switched networksfor packetized voice, changing circuit traffic into packets and back. By redesigning the RAN toprovide packet transport end-to-end, mobile service providers can eliminate the extra ATM layer.And as voice traffic migrates to IP transport based on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), IP/MPLStechnology makes it easier to provision, scale, and manage these services.
Solution
Moving to Carrier Ethernet in the RAN brings sizeable cost efficiencies to mobile service providerswith no loss of network performance, stability, or manageability. Cisco’s interim solution formigrating from SONET/SDH to Carrier Ethernet in the RAN relies on the use of pseudowires andthe intelligence of IP/MPLS technologies. The widely used Cisco 7600 Series edge router hasbeen engineered as a multiservice RAN solution to transport TDM traffic from the access layer tothe core over IP Carrier Ethernet transport.

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