3G & LTEに向けたモバイルネットワークの機能分散戦略
Mobile Network Feature Distribution Strategies for 3G & LTE
|出版日||ページ情報||英文 40 Pages
|3G & LTEに向けたモバイルネットワークの機能分散戦略 Mobile Network Feature Distribution Strategies for 3G & LTE|
|出版日: 2011年09月20日||ページ情報: 英文 40 Pages||
Mobile broadband represents a “kill or cure” solution to the profitability outlook of mobile operators throughout the world. New revenues promise to lift the trend in revenue and ARPU, while new volumes of data traffic threaten to increase costs as quickly as revenues increase - or even faster. Even where some of the world' s leading mobile networks are delivering very encouraging financial performance with their mobile broadband service offerings, the pressure on the CFOs in these companies to maintain tight control of capex and opex while maintaining or enhancing network availability and performance remains intense.
The so-called “flat“ IP network is heralded as a critical next stage in the evolution of the mobile broadband business model. Superseding the multi-layered, hierarchical topology that has served mobile operators relatively well until now, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has designed networks based on HSPA Evolution, and especially LTE, to provide a much lower cost, much more flexible network for mobile broadband, delivering superior performance.
The evolution of the logical architecture is clear: Beginning with LTE, the RNC layer is done away with altogether, and the separate voice and data cores converge into a single Evolved Packet Core (EPC). This report looks beyond this high-level architectural flattening to examine the case for taking both 3GPP-defined and non-3GPP-defined elements and capabilities that have traditionally resided in the center of the mobile network, and distributing those capabilities out closer toward the user at the edge of the network, in the pursuit of lower cost and better performance.
This report sets out to provide a better understanding of what the opportunities and risks of distribution really are. It discusses the gains that can be made; the ability of operators' organizations to execute on the strategy; and additional costs that are liable to be incurred as the plan is implemented. It sheds light on the business case for distributing each potential network feature and the impact of distributing any one feature on its own, as well as in conjunction with others.
The wider architectural decisions, having little or nothing to do with issues of feature distribution - such as the rollout of new packet synchronization standards, new security solutions such as IPsec and new interfaces such as the direct X2 interface between eNodeBs in LTE - are also key. Holistic design principles are relatively straightforward in a TDM-based architecture. They become much more challenging in any all-IP environment; still more challenging when you add in the cell-handover requirements of a mobile network; and potentially even more challenging when you start distributing features from the center of the network to the edge in this environment.
The opportunity and risk associated with feature distribution is also a key issue for equipment vendors that are targeting the mobile packet core and mobile transport spaces. Platforms and future roadmaps need to be designed with specific features and timelines for those features in mind. Depending on the pattern of demand for distribution from each vendor' s lead customer prospects, that may vary significantly from one vendor to the next.
Care also needs to be taken not just with respect to determining which present-day features need to be supported, but also which future requirements need to be supported, which interfaces to third-party elements are liable to required and what might be required from a network management perspective in a highly distributed mobile network environment.
Mobile Network Feature Distribution Strategies for 3G & LTE explores the opportunities and risks of feature distribution for mobile network operators, analyzes the prospects for distribution of the primary network elements that are deployed centrally in mobile networks today, and examines the various factors that could accelerate or impede this trend. The report also makes specific recommendations for how equipment vendors can best position themselves to capitalize on the move toward distribution.
Recent Heavy Reading research shows a lot of hesitation on the part of mobile operators to distribute specific types of network functionality. As shown in the excerpt below, from Heavy Reading' s June 2010 LTE Strategies Survey, 46 percent of mobile operators respondents in this survey were clear that at least some level of distribution of network elements will be required where the EPC is concerned, although around half gave non-committal responses.
Distributed or Centralized EPC ?
Source: Heavy Reading' s 2010 LTE Strategies Survey; n=102