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Tellabs® Smart Backhaul — Advancing 3G Networks

with 4G Intelligence

The promise of 4G Often in 3G, advanced QoS in the packet core differs from advanced
QoS in backhaul — in terms of mechanism and intention, 3G mobile
A 4G wireless network architecture brings simplicity and intelligence
backhaul is primarily a transport network made of varying link
to the network. It reduces total cost of ownership and helps to
capacities and not typically subscriber or application aware.
manage the network more efficiently. While the promise of a much
simpler architecture remains, most networks will continue to operate
a mix of 2G, 3G and 4G technologies for the foreseeable future. New Effect of smartphones and mobile Internet traffic
technology from Tellabs can bring 4G advantages into a 3G network A small but growing number of highly powerful, Internet-capable
and significantly reduce the total cost of ownership of a multi- smartphones is driving the majority of data traffic over 3G mobile
generational mobile infrastructure. networks. The vast majority of this data traffic comes from accessing
services on the public Internet. According to the Morgan Stanley
4G’s advantages over 3G mobile Internet Report, while Apple iPhone’s share of the total global
shipments of mobile phones was only 17% in 2009, the share of
In a 4G network — both WiMAX and LTE — subscriber tunnel
Mobile Internet and application usage by iPhone users was 50% and
architectures are much simpler than in 3G. 4G architectures use
even more so, the share of full web usage from a mobile device was
uniform tunnel semantics, i.e., per subscriber tunnels exist in
65%. And the growth in smartphones, apps and mobile web has just
both Access and Core networks. By contrast, 3G networks have a
begun. This new reality means that the majority of traffic consumers
segmented backhaul in which Packet Switched Networking (PSN)
are generating is traffic that is generally treated as “best effort.”
tunnels aggregate many subscriber tunnels over various transport
This disparity in customer behavior and network treatment creates
options up to an aggregation point, typically the Radio Network
a customer experience gap. Changes in link capacity in the mobile
Controller (RNC).
backhaul can have profound effects on end users’ experiences.
A 4G network offers advanced capabilities that enable very granular
Current ways of handling choke points in mobile backhaul without
QoS and bandwidth control. For example, there are one or more
knowing the end users’ application usage are just not enough
Tunnel IDs (TEID) and 4 Traffic Flow Type (TFT) classes per TEID.
to ensure happy customers. As 4G applications proliferate and
The eNodeB can map these TFT classes to four corresponding QoS
demand more bandwidth, 4G application awareness must be
classes on the Radio Access Bearer (RAB).
made available in 3G networks.

2G (TDM) Microwave ATM

R99 (ATM)


HSDPA Eth Ethernet

HSPA/LTE Ethernet

Leased Lines SDH/WDM

First Mile/Access Aggregation

Cell Site Aggregation Site Mobile Core

Access Ethernet Ethernet

Evolved Base Station GTP or MobileIP Tunnels Access Gateway GTP or MobileIP Tunnels Subscriber Gateway
(eNodeB or WiMax BTS) (S-Gwy or ASN Gwy) (P-Gwy or Home Agent)

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Bringing 4G intelligence to 3G networks

So how do we bring 4G simplicity and intelligence into 3G networks? We need to address five main challenges:

Challenge Description
Detect and classify mobile There is a large group of applications that may warrant “better than best effort” treatment, but are going
Internet traffic while untreated and sometimes even dropped in today’s mobile infrastructure. Providers need the ability to detect
maintaining performance. and classify new forms of applications without sacrificing data plane performance.
Apply consistent and end-to-end Providers need a consistent, end-to-end view of the network. Since the 3G backhaul is segmented and
QoS treatment of traffic flows from individual subscriber flows are aggregated into PSN tunnels, it is difficult to apply consistent QoS treatment.
backhaul to core. Moreover, operators may have different strategies for dealing with congestion over a network, which is often
a combination of owned and leased lines. They may use adaptive microwave links to offload data traffic. Any
solution must ensure consistent QoS treatment across a variety of backhaul infrastructure.
Understand complexity of 3G 3G mobile backhaul can be complex. As cell site links are aggregated into hub nodes and further into
networks and provisioned capacity. aggregation nodes, providers need to know a large number of elements and links in advance to manage
traffic intelligently. They need a complete network view and provisioned capacity on each managed link
before they can make decisions on how to prioritize traffic.
Know subscriber profile, When treating traffic flows in an intelligent, application-aware manner, it is not sufficient to assign priority
services and tiers. or QoS to flows based on content. Operators may want to assure fair usage on their network, offer tiered
data plans or prioritize based on a subscriber’s paid services. This subscriber-specific knowledge is also
necessary to treat traffic in mobile networks intelligently.
Respond to real-time Network conditions in mobile backhaul are fluid. Congestion can appear rapidly, and recover just as quickly.
network conditions. It is necessary to monitor current network conditions and respond dynamically to live network events.

Standalone DPI gateways fall short

One solution available on the market is a standalone Deep Packet providers need this ability in today’s mobile core, the placement of
Inspection (DPI) gateway. Providers can deploy a standalone gateway this function behind the GGSN limits its usefulness.
on the Internet side of the mobile core gateway on an interface
commonly known in the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) DPI gateways generate content information that cannot be seamlessly
as the Gi interface. The mobile core gateway, such as a GGSN, used to make intelligent decisions in the backhaul, specifically to
performs its traditional function as a PDN selection and subscriber prioritize traffic and drop precedence during congestion. Often
management gateway, while another piece of hardware “behind” the providers must deploy an additional over-arching policy server
GGSN has the burden of application detection and classification. The framework. Then the operator must integrate the two components
common functions provided by a DPI gateway on Gi interface are: and test for interoperability. Furthermore, the policy decision
framework must be kept up to date with new types of applications
1. Deep packet inspection and classification of flows based on
that the DPI gateway may detect (and their corresponding treatment).
application or content type.
2. Visibility into traffic types, by application, by volume, time of day Other weaknesses of the standalone DPI gateway approach are:
and destination.
1. It cannot co-relate subscriber information without additional
3. Some DPI gateways can inspect subscriber data lookups —
snooping of control plane interfaces. Sometimes these interfaces
such as Radius or Diameter protocol based queries to AAA
are encrypted and such co-relation may not be possible.
and HLR servers — and associate subscriber information to
the DPI information collected. 2. Because it is not integrated with the GGSN (or other such mobile
core gateway), providers cannot easily launch new subscriber
The biggest advantage of the standalone DPI gateway on the Gi services based on DPI gateway information. To do so always
interface is that it provides visibility about traffic flows without putting requires interoperability and integration with a separate charging,
additional burden on an already overloaded GGSN. rating and billing function.
3. Even with the help of a policy server framework, it can only affect
The biggest weakness of this solution is that it is a single-
flows in the mobile core portion of the network, so it is not an
dimensional solution to a multi-dimensional problem.
end-to-end solution.
As described previously, providing intelligent bandwidth management 4. It adds to the total cost of ownership of the mobile core, with
and traffic engineering in an end-to-end fashion in 3G networks limited tangible returns on the additional CapEX and OpEx.
requires several challenges to be addressed simultaneously. The
standalone DPI gateway solution addresses only one piece of the Thus, while standalone, purpose-built DPI gateways do serve a
puzzle — detecting and classifying various application types. While purpose in the mobile core network, they fall short of bringing
true 4G-like simplicity and intelligence to 3G networks.

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Tellabs’ solution: a smart backhaul II. IuPS-to-IuB flow mapping

Tellabs’ smart backhaul provides a comprehensive solution for end- Providers can easily map Tellabs SmartCore platform markers on IP
to-end traffic engineering in 2G/3G/4G mobile networks. The result packet flows (IuPS) in the mobile core to per subscriber bearer flows
of piecing together all components of Tellabs’ smart backhaul is a (IuB) in the mobile backhaul. Because the markings are standards-
3G network infrastructure that not only addresses the most pressing based IP DiffServ markings, the RNC which performs this correlation
concerns of providers, but one that operates similar to a 4G packet honors the markings and passes them on to the mobile user plane.
architecture with the intelligence and simplicity of 4G.
Iur Iur
User Plane Control Plane
Moreover, Tellabs’ smart backhaul helps operators evolve to a 4G Transport
Iub Network Iub
network while responding to overwhelming bandwidth demand. User Plane Control Plane Control Plane
Mobile operators can start seeing the benefits of tomorrow’s 4G IUR FP SCCP

networks by investing in an intelligent 3G network today. IUB FP NBAP RTP/RTCP M3UA

Tellabs’ smart backhaul solves the multi-dimensional challenges DATA LINK DATA LINK
facing network operators looking to simplify and make their 3G
networks smarter.
Iu Iu
User Plane Control Plane
I. Intelligent classification without losing performance
Uu Uu
The Tellabs SmartCore™ 9100 Series is a packet core gateway User Plane Control Plane
platform built for 4G. RTP/ GTPU
Each Intelligent Packet Processor (IPP) card in the Tellabs SmartCore IP
platform has hardware-assisted intelligent DPI functionality. The LAYER 1 DATA LINK
Tellabs SmartCore platform DPI detects and classifies IP flows with UU RNC IU-CS IU-PS
an effective improvement of 10:1 in DPI and traffic management Application

resource utilization. It powers gateways that can perform flow

classification and advanced QoS with very little effect on data Whenever possible, the highest layer marking (Layer 3: IP DiffServ)
throughput. This next-generation gateway platform combines a should be configured to allow maximum transparency at the RNC.
high-performance application classification with policy decision This may be done in the SmartCore platform configuration. The
within a single unit. When looking at the return on investment, it Iu protocol user plane (used in the mobile core side of the RNC),
is equivalent to the combined ROI of a current generation mobile uses GTP-U as the encapsulation protocol while the Iub user plane
gateway, a standalone DPI gateway and a local policy server. (used in the access side of the RNC) uses plain UDP to transport
IP flows. GTP is UDP based. The RNC application managing IP
Intelligent DPI transport within the RNC copies GTP UDP packets arriving on UDP
ports of IuPS interface to UDP packets on corresponding UDP ports
of the IuB interface. The IP DiffServ markings made on the IuPS
(core) network thus remain intact when copied over into the IuB
Per Subscriber Application Flows Mobile Internet Aggregate Flow (backhaul) network.

SC 9100 This IuPS-to-IuB flow mapping is a key piece in solving the end-to-
end consistent QoS puzzle. The Tellabs 8600 system and Tellabs
8800 MSR series can learn these markings and apply Per Hop
Behavior (PHB) in the backhaul as described below.
Once it detects an application type (usually the first few packets on
III. Backhaul “QoS engine”
each flow), providers can assign traffic management actions at line
rate to upstream and downstream flows. An administrator can easily Once flow classifiers and the corresponding treatment have been
define rules for identifying application types, group them into classes marked (or signaled out-of-band), backhaul network routers
of service and assign traffic management and QoS actions by using can then police, queue and shape traffic flows according to the
a simple scripting language called Wichorus Content Language classification. Providers can control PHB for Best Effort (BE)
(WCL). WCL enables administrators to easily program the Tellabs forwarding, Expedited Forwarding (EF), Assured Forwarding (AF)
SmartCore platform and select appropriate QoS markings (e.g., and various sub-classes within AF. Operators can control the PHB
MPLS EXP, IP DiffServ or Ethernet P-bits). using industry-standard QoS techniques such as: ingress and
egress policers (e.g., single or dual Leaky Bucket, two-rate Three
For upstream flows, the Tellabs SmartCore platform can signal the Color Marker, etc.), queuing and scheduling techniques (e.g., Strict,
classifiers and their corresponding treatment to backhaul routers, WFQ), and packet discard mechanisms (e.g., Tail drop, WRED,
such as the Tellabs® 8600 Managed Edge System and Tellabs® RED). Both the Tellabs 8600 system and Tellabs 8800 MSR series
8800 Multiservice Router (MSR) series through an out-of-band offer these advanced QoS mechanisms, thus forming a very efficient
mechanism. QoS engine.

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8600 Microwave Ethernet

Cell Site Pseudowire LSPs Switching Office

Classification QoS Class Queuing Scheduling Policing Shaping

Tail Drop
Control, pbit & Control Strict
Drop 0
EXP 7, CS7 Q0 Max 34ms Committed Information
Rate (CIR)
Real Time Tail Drop Excess
Control, pbit & Drop 0 Strict 90
Q1 Max 2.5ms rate/burst
EXP 6, CS7
Premium WRED (Max 5ms)
VBRnrt (CLPO), FR Drop 0 WFQ 95 Committed Information
(DEO), pbit & EXP Q2 Max 34ms Drop 1 Rate (CIR)
5 & 4, AF4 1842 Out of control 90
UBR (CLPO), pbit &
EXP 8, BE Best Effort Drop 0 WFQ 5
Q3 Max 50ms

An example of the powerful effect of this consistent and end-to- IV. Traffic Engineering Database (TED)
end QoS ability is shown below. In a mobile network with Adaptive Tellabs solutions often help providers engineer their mobile networks
Microwave backhaul infrastructure owned by the operator, this top-down, with an end-to-end network view designed in the Tellabs®
solution works even in frequently changing microwave link 8000 Intelligent Network Management System’s Traffic Engineering
conditions. The Tellabs 8600 system of routers maps the original Database. The traffic engineering database serves as a repository of
Diff-Serv Code Point (DSCP) markings from the Tellabs SmartCore information such as network configuration, router configuration, fault
platform to Ethernet layer P-bits or Class-of-Service (CoS) markings. logs, performance history and much more.
The Ethernet-based microwave backhaul device can transparently
make drop decisions on packets with low-priority flows as For example, the network configuration table in the Tellabs 8000
determined by the Tellabs SmartCore platform. Intelligent Manager database contains addressing information to
look up any node in the mobile backhaul network, such as area,
In mobile networks where leased infrastructure is in place, Ethernet region, location, node, sub-rack, unit, port and even VLAN. The
may not be the only Layer-2 protocol available. TDM, ATM, SDH router configuration table contains information for the configured
and xWDM links are often present in the leased network. Both the capacity and throughput of interface links and tunnels. The
Tellabs 8600 system and Tellabs 8800 MSR series of routers can performance history table contains various performance metrics
map original DSCP markings to MPLS EXP bits. MPLS-capable and counters collected at different frequency; some counters are
routers and switches in the leased infrastructure can use the MPLS collected every 15 minutes while others are collected daily.
EXP markings to guide them in prioritizing traffic over various Layer
2 transports. This comprehensive and up-to-date network view of Tellabs’ smart
backhaul elements enables more informed decisions about per-
Therefore, Tellabs’ smart backhaul offers a cascading effect of application treatment in the packet core. For example, an administrator
transferring application intelligence further and deeper into mobile can access the Tellabs 8000 Intelligent Manager database to learn
backhaul segments achieving consistent and end-to-end QoS from about configured link capacities in frequently congested areas of the
cell site to core. network before making the decision to assign specific traffic classes
to application types in the Tellabs SmartCore platform. In real time,
the Tellabs SmartCore platform itself can learn about changing
network conditions and re-mark the application flows accordingly.

8600 maps markings to Ethernet P-bits

Cell Site BSC/ DSCP Marking
RNC from SmartCore™
256 QAM

Cell Site 64 QAM

8605 8630 16 QAM 8630

Cell Site Hub Site QPSK Aggregation Site

Adaptive Microwave

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V. Putting it all together and the advanced QoS support in all the components of the
With integrated DPI technology and the ability to classify and mark solution allows Tellabs’ smart backhaul to bring 4G intelligence to
traffic flows based on application type, the Tellabs SmartCore plat- today’s 3G networks. In doing so, Tellabs’ smart backhaul paves
form serves as an impressive mobile QoS anchor. Combined with the way towards an orderly 4G evolution while addressing present
the Tellabs 8000 Intelligent Manager traffic engineering database, day challenges. Smarter networks are the ultimate answer to
and the Tellabs mobile solution serving as the Backhaul QoS engine, smartphone-generated demand.
Tellabs’ smart backhaul can achieve consistent and end-to-end QoS
that adapts to changing network conditions and keeps pace with Acknowledgements
application and smartphone proliferation.
8000 DB Network Config n 3GPP TS 23.207 V5.8.0, “Universal Mobile Telecommunication
Router Config System (UMTS); End-to End QoS Concept and Architecture,”
December 2000
Tellabs® 8000 iNMS
n 3GPP TS 23.107 V5.5.0, “Universal Mobile Telecommunication
Database Server Performance History System (UMTS); QoS Concept and Architecture,” March 2001
n 3GPP TR 25.933 V5.4.0, “IP transport in UTRAN,” January 2004
Other tables
n F. Le Faucheur, et al, “Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS)
Support of Differentiated Services.” RFC 3270, May 2002
Summary n “Quality of Service in the Wireless Backhaul,” Tellabs White Paper
The reality of multi-generational mobile infrastructure means n “Quality of Service in the Tellabs® 8600 Managed Edge System,”
that the advantages of 4G networks cannot be realized without Tellabs White Paper
making existing backhaul technology smarter. Bringing 4G network
n “Tellabs 8800 MSR Quality of Service: Architecture and Services,”
intelligence into 3G networks requires a comprehensive approach,
Tellabs Technical Note
addressing both mobile core and mobile backhaul network elements.
n RNC3810 Ericsson’s first WCDMA radio network controller,
The knowledge about network topology, provisioned link capacity Ericsson, 2002
and performance history of network elements in backhaul, the n “Mobile Internet Report” Morgan Stanley, December 2009
unique content inspection and application classification ability,

10/100 or ML-PPP AAA

Node B
Rel 5/6
n x T1 IMA/T3 HLR
Node B
Rel 4 RNC
GSM 10/100

n x T1 PCRF
GSM 8600 8600/8800
BTS SC 9100
T1/V.35 QoS Engine GGSN
QoS Anchor
BTS Billing/
Cell Site Switching Office Mobile Core

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forward-looking statements regarding future events, products, features, technology and resulting commercial or technological benefits and advantages. These statements are for discussion purposes only, are subject to change and are not to be construed as
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