Article from Continuous Computing: AdvancedTCA Blade Solutions Provide Seamless Migration to LTE

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    An article by Nitin Tomar, Product Line Manager, Continuous Computing


    The mobile industry is looking to tiered service offerings to strengthen Average Revenue per User (ARPU), A preintegrated AdvancedTCA-based DPI module, as Nitin explains, can play a role here as 3G to LTE migration ensues.


    Network operators worldwide are gearing up to provide 100 Mbps downlink and 50 Mbps uplink speed to mobile users with Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. With LTE, users can expect to experience bandwidth that is three to four times the current downlink levels for High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) and two to three times the current High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) levels. Having gone through evolutions from GSM, EDGE, GPRS, and 3G in the last 15 to 20 years, one thing that the telecommunications industry has learned time and again is that the traditional approach of migrating a core network to a new technology is similar to undergoing a painful surgery.


    New networks have been rolled out in a green field manner, thus making the transition capital intensive, time consuming, and often prone to errors. Delays encountered during the rollout due to interoperability issues, difficulties with new platforms, and so on have cost both network operators and equipment manufacturers significant revenue. Network operators end up being consumed in focusing almost exclusively on the “working rollout,” and they have missed the opportunities to add value differentiation during the upgrade to new technologies.


    Fortunately, wireless operators’ core network migration from 3G to LTE will not be nearly as painful as earlier transitions. Thanks to AdvancedTCA standards-based LTE solution blades offering Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) features, combined with simplified LTE network architecture, operators will be able to capture the value differentiation offered by Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) solution blades specifically designed for LTE networks.

    3GPP’s LTE network consists of the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and Evolved UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA). LTE’s promise at the EPC is a simplified and flat “All IP” core network which consists of the Mobility Management Entity (MME), Serving Gateway (SGW), and Packet Data Network Gateway (PDN Gateway, or PGW). On E-UTRA, LTE offers less complexity by supporting flexible carrier bandwidths. Figure 1 compares 3G and LTE networks. In LTE, the combination of the EPC and Evolved UMTS is called the Evolved Packet System (EPS).


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