Architecting future-proof mobile backhaul networks

Many mobile carriers have adopted IP/MPLS in their core network, as it is a familiar and field-proven technology that can be easily extended to the cell site. The transition to IP in the backhaul network is already taking place and will track with the accelerating growth of data-based services.

Many equipment vendors offer MPLS features within their products; however the lack of commonly agreed framework, architectures and deployment scenarios often results in additional avoidable costs in deploying MPLS services. To address this, the Broadband Forum also offers a certification program for vendors that enables service providers to choose standards-based, deployment-ready products for their backhaul solutions, which empowers them to deploy backhaul solutions quicker.

Evolving the backhaul network from 2G/3G to 4G (LTE)

Broadband Forum is defining two architecture frameworks, one for 2G/3G and other for 4G/LTE, corresponding to the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) work. In 2G/3G RAN, base transceiver stations (BTS) or simply base stations handle the radio interface with the mobile station and the base station controller (BSC) manages one or more base stations to provide control functions such as radio-channel setup, handovers etc. A hub-and-spoke topology enables communication from base station to controller and controller to base station. The topology in 2G/3G RAN is also known as centralized topology. In this architecture, T1/E1 connections (TDM for 2G and ATM for 3G) between BTS and the BSC are carried over IP/MPLS based packet backhaul using pseudo-wire technologies.

In LTE RAN, the base station itself consists of controller functionality and communicates with another base station directly via any-to-any topology. LTE base station communicates with access gateway (aGW) via a star topology.

twn Are you sure that you want to switch to desktop version?