3 AVIAT NETWORKS
Migrating Mobile Networks to IP/MPLS
CHOOSING THE RIGHT MICROWAVE PLATFORM
EVOLUTION OF MOBILE CARRIER NETWORKS
Typically, a small number of DS1s has been sufficient to service 2G and 2.5G base stations, but withthe data capacity needed for advanced 3G and 4G HSPA/LTE applications, new technologies andstrategies are needed.Huge infrastructure investments have been made for TDM voice transport for mobile carriers. Up to90% of traffic continues to be TDM voice traffic. In North America, although TDM voice is still thedominate revenue source for mobile operators, revenue from data transport supporting smart phones,netbooks and tablets is growing rapidly and will require more network capacity than voice.More network capacity translates to more backhaul capacity. This additional capacity can be moreefficiently delivered in IP/Ethernet. Among the many technologies available, IP/Ethernet is consistentlyrecognized as the transport media of choice for expanded backhaul services.For many operators the introduction of Ethernet will be on the back of existing TDM networkconnections given their huge investment in its infrastructure. This will typically involve gradualmigration using data overlay, with a decision at some future point to change to an all-packet-basednetwork, The transition phases may well include instances where there is a need to transport Ethernetalongside TDM, or Ethernet over TDM, and do so in a flexible, secure and cost efficient way.The new expansion for Ethernet will be an issue of phasing in costs spending in line with revenue,capacity growth in line with new rollout of services, and network features in line with increased need forreliability, control and security. These complex issues means the direction for network evolution is notimmediately clear.What is clear is that the traffic requirements in carrier networks are becoming more advanced. Tosupport real-time, two-way digital communications, an IP-enabled, communication pipeline must beestablished.An IP/MPLS solution is poised to become the basis for carrier networks going forward. This paperexplores these issues, their impact on utility microwave networks, and investigates options for nextgeneration microwave evolution.
MIGRATION TO IP/MPLS
IP networking is a globally accepted and universally known communications protocol offering thedesire functionality and flexibility for mobile operator applications. IP networks are more cost effective,easier to deploy, and support higher capacities than traditional TDM networks. When combined withMPLS, IP networks can deliver TDM-like predictability, redundancy and security capabilities. MPLSsimplifies traffic management of legacy and IP services to meet the QoS requirements to prioritizecritical traffic while offering the scalability to support emerging technologies.
Figure 1: Mobile operator benefits from network migration to IP/MPLS
In addition to higher throughputs and lower cost, IP/MPLS networks provide convergence capabilitiesto ensure multi-application networks can be combined onto a single physical infrastructure – ensuringtrue interoperability, rather than just connecting disparate networks.
Top benefits to migrate to IP/MPLS:
Lower costs of ownership
Increased efficiencies in use of infrastructure and spectrum
TDM-like redundancy and security capabilities
Better prepared for converged services