Migrating SONET_SDH to Packet-Based Networks for Mobile Backhaul

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    continued from page 8                                                                                                                                                                            cost is vital to a provider’s long-term
                                             Migrating SONET/SDH                                                                                                                                     financial stability as traffic volumes
    the wireline transport of choice. If                                                                                                                                                             grow and ARPU declines.
    you’re not a new operator and you        to Packet-Based Networks                                                                                                                                  The RAN is currently dominated
    have existing facilities, “the biggest   for Mobile Backhaul                                                                                                                                     by circuit switched SONET/SDH
    problem is Ethernet is not available                                                                                                                                                             technology, an always-on transport
                                             BY SULTAN DAWOOD, MARKE TING VICE-CHAIR AND MEMBER
    to most of the cell sites because                                                                                                                                                                that is more expensive per bit than
                                             OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, BROADBAND FORUM
    most of the transport providers                                                                                                                                                                  Ethernet traffic. By redesigning the
    only offer Ethernet over fiber and                                                                                                                                                                RAN to provide packet transport
    fiber’s not there,” said Michael          Ñ Many mobile service pro-          data services is proving cumber-                                                                                    end-to-end, mobile service provid-
    Howard, principal analyst/co-found-      viders are in the process of        some and expensive. Indeed,                                                                                         ers can eliminate the extra layers
    er of Infonetics Research.               adapting their Regional Area        the average revenue per mega-                                                                                       in the network. As voice traffic
      That, said Mike Emmendorfer,           Networks (RAN) to incorporate       bit for data service is far lower                                                                                   migrates to IP transport based on
    senior director of solution archi-       innovative, high-speed data         than for traditional voice and                                                                                      Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), IP/
    tecture and strategy for cable           services. These new services        text messaging but consumers                                                                                        MPLS technology makes it easier to
    equipment vendor Arris, gives his        include third- and fourth-gener-    are demanding mobile broad-                                                                                         provision, scale, and manage these
    cable customers a leg up in the          ation (3G and 4G) High-Speed        band services at affordable                                                                                         services. Moving to Carrier Ethernet
    backhaul competition.                    Packet Access (HSPA), WiMAX,        prices. To meet these needs,                                                                                        in the RAN brings sizeable cost effi-
      “The MSOs have built extensive         and Code Division Multiple          mobile service providers are                                                                                        ciencies to mobile service providers
    fiber infrastructure throughout the       Access (CDMA) Single Carrier        looking for alternative ways to
                                             Evolved Data Optimized (1xEV-       scale bandwidth in the RAN          ß Maintain high security, reliability,
                                             DO). The popularity of email,       while reducing their growing           and availability
                                                                                                                                                              The RAN is currently dominated
    Pseudowire also offers                   Internet and intranet access,       operating expenses.                 ß Quickly deploy next-gener-
                                                                                                                                                              by circuit switched SONET/
    the degree of reliability                and video sharing on mobile           RAN backhaul is one of the           ation IP applications with
                                                                                                                                                              SDH technology, an always-on
    operators are seeking                    devices is putting pressure on      last areas of the mobile opera-        Pseudowires
                                                                                                                                                              transport that is more expensive
    … for a price.                           the existing circuit-switched       tor’s infrastructure not yet          By migrating from SONET/SDH
                                                                                                                                                              per bit than Ethernet traffic.                     Sultan
                                             RAN infrastructures of mobile       redesigned to efficiently handle     to Carrier Ethernet technology in
                                             service providers.                  IP broadband traffic. By migrat-     the RAN, mobile service providers
    communities where (wireless) base           Studies have shown that          ing to Carrier Ethernet and         can save between 25 to 40 percent
    stations are. They will then extend      several mobile service providers    Multi-Protocol Label Switch-        in backhaul costs over a five-year        providers typically have hundreds      with no loss of network performance,
    that fiber infrastructure to those        on different continents see data    ing (MPLS) for RAN backhaul,        period while increasing speeds           or thousands of cell sites, and        stability, or manageability. By using
    base stations and light up some          traffic comprising 30 percent of     mobile service providers with       up to 10 Gbps. For mobile service        upgrading gear and increasing          Pseudowires—which are MPLS
    of their existing technologies that      all traffic in 2008 and expect it    leased or owned SONET/              providers, the cost and efficiency        bandwidth makes these the most         virtual circuit “tunnels”—mobile
    they’ve used for years to support        to be 50 percent of their traffic    Synchronous Digital Hierarchy       benefits are immediate. For those         expensive parts of the network.        service providers can aggregate and
    commercial services: SONET or            by 2010. These same providers       (SDH) protocol network infra-       providers that own their SONET/          Transmission costs account for         transport TDM, IP, Ethernet, and
    optical Ethernet or EPON (Ethernet       anticipate the need to provide      structures can:                     SDH infrastructures, the efficiency       approximately 19 percent of the        ATM traffic as well as clock synchro-
    Passive Optical Network). Most of        25 Mbps of bandwidth for urban      ß Save money in the near            benefits from increasing bandwidth        overall cost of delivering data to     nization from the RAN to the network
    the MSOs are going to be moving          mobile customers by 2010. As            and long term using pack-       and more easily deploying 3G and         an end user in today’s 2G and          core. The solution increases band-
    to optical Ethernet and eventually       the volume of such bandwidth-           et-switched instead of          4G services can be realized right        3G networks, according to 2007         width available for backhaul and other
    EPON because EPON is going               intensive traffic grows, the             circuit-switched connections    away. Capital expense savings are        estimates by Unstrung Insider. But     services by an order of magnitude
    to be a very efficient manner to          costs for RAN backhaul grow         ß Simplify their operations         realized in the longer term from         with backhaul architectures based      but at one-tenth of the cost per bit
    deliver cellular backhaul services,”     correspondingly, lowering           ß More easily scale their net-      reduced transmission costs and           on leased lines, these costs could     when compared to T1 and E1 service.
    Emmendorfer said.                        the average revenue per user            works                           enhanced profit margins, market           increase to 80 percent of operating    Additionally, IP/MPLS in the RAN
      Whatever the case and whatever         (ARPU). Adapting traditional        ß Increase available bandwidth      share, and competitiveness.              expenses as cell sites are upgraded    brings intelligent features such as
    the play, the consensus is that Eth-     circuit-switched transport archi-       and add flexibility to band-       The RAN is a major area of             to their maximum capacities with
    ernet is here to stay. ●                 tectures to support these new           width usage                     expense because mobile service           current architectures. Reducing this                   continued on page 11

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                SPONSORED CONTENT

                                                                                                                              Bridging the
       Wireless is There When                                                                                                 Synchronization Gap                                                                                                                     U.S.) have to lease this capacity on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      copper T1s, the overall cost of sync
       There’s No Fiber                                                                                                       Maintaining reliable network sync while                                                                                                 distribution can literally run into the
       BY FIERCE TELECOM                                                                                                      migrating backhaul networks to all-IP                                                                                                   millions of dollars per year.

     Ñ Even with a world full of            every tower in the world is going to                                                                                                                                                                                      DISTRIBUTED
     contrarians, you would be hard         be fiber. There’s going to be a lot of                                          Ñ The migration of mobile back-                                                                  carrier-class sync simultaneous           SYNCHRONIZATION OVER
     pressed to find anyone who dis-         copper but the percentage of fiber                                              haul networks from TDM to all-IP                                                                 with the ongoing evolution of the         MICROWAVE BACKHAUL
     putes that Ethernet-over-fiber is       is going to go up and the percent-                                             will be implemented from the edge                                                                transport network.                        Harris Stratex Networks recently
     probably the best transport meth-      age of copper is going to go down                                              to the core, but it will not be a step                                                                                                     introduced a new Distributed
     od for the heavy load of IP-based      pretty significantly over the next five                                          change. Rather, a gradual evolu-                                                                 DECOUPLING SYNC                           Sync™ functionality on its Eclipse
     data straining today’s wireless        years,” said Tom Huegerich, vice                                               tionary approach will be needed                                                                  FROM TRANSPORT                            Packet Node microwave backhaul
     backhaul networks.                     president of global fiber for ADC.                                              because TDM-based voice and                                                                      NETWORK MIGRATION                         platform. This patent-pending
       But, “it’s not a black-and-white                                                                                    data services are not going away                                                                 Hybrid TDM + Ethernet transport           feature provides TDM-like clock
     world where we’re going to say                        continued on page 13                                            any time soon. High quality voice                                                                networks provide operators with           synchronization over hybrid TDM/
                                                                                                                           services must be maintained                                                                      a low-risk solution to migrate            packet or packet-only microwave
                                                                                                                           to minimize subscriber churn,                                                                    their backhaul to all-IP over time.       backhaul networks, without
     continued from page 10                                                                                                while gracefully introducing new                                                                 A similar approach is needed to           requiring any valuable backhaul
                                                                                                                           packet-based network transport                                                                   allow operators to decouple sync          payload bandwidth.
     Traffic Engineering and Fast Reroute    throughout the network from core           The collapse of backhaul tech-      architectures that can be scaled up                                                              from transport evolution and ide-           Distributed Sync complements
     throughout the network. Mobile ser-    to cell site. A single combined net-    nologies onto a single IP/MPLS         as data demand increases.                                                                        ally to maintain their trusted TDM        the new standards-based solutions
     vice providers can make use of the     work, using MPLS both in the core       network results in reduced oper-          As mobile operators worldwide                                                                 sync architecture over an all-packet      and enables operators to delay
     existing MPLS infrastructure while     and RAN, can simplify operations        ating costs, rapid provisioning of     grapple with the evolution of their                                                              transport network. This will enable       moving to these IP-based schemes
     extending the packet-based core        and lower operational expenses.         bandwidth to support new services      backhaul network to all-IP, a key                                                                operators to introduce all-packet         until after their network migration
     already deployed out to the edge of    By using a standards-based MPLS         and service growth, seamless sup-      issue will be how to maintain                                                                    transport today and keep the com-         to IP transport is well progressed
     the network as well as take advan-     Pseudowire solution, additional         port of 2G/3G/4G radio technology,     accurate, cost-effective and reliable                                                            fort, reliability and security of their   or even complete. Distributed Sync
     tage of the highest levels of traffic   bandwidth can easily and flexibly        and the ability to take advantage of   synchronization. The current suite                                                               proven TDM-based synchronization.         offers a standard, primary refer-
     grooming and network manage-           be added to cell sites and aggrega-     alternative transport media (such      of packet-based solutions such as                                                                                                          ence clock-traceable output at the
     ment, QoS, and the ability to assign   tion sites as needed.                   as Ethernet and DSL) for addi-         Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) and                                                                 SAVING ON BACKHAUL                        base station over a multi-hop, nodal
     classes of service.                       To facilitate this migration, the    tional cost savings. The Broadband     IEEE 1588v2 requires operators to                                                                PAYLOAD CAPACITY                          backhaul network, even in an all-IP
        With SONET/SDH equipment            Broadband Forum is actively             Forum will continue to do all we       make a relatively risky leap to one                                                              Current methods for distributing          environment where no TDM trans-
     vendors aware of the progression       developing specifications for the        can to make this transition as         or a combination of these new and                                                                synchronization throughout the net-       port capability is available.
     of more services to IP and the         application and deployment of           seamless and effective as possible     unproven technologies. This “Sync                                                                work rely on reserving an entire T1/        Distributed Sync enables mobile
     growing bandwidth demands with         IP/MPLS technology in the con-          to ensure industry growth and net-     Gap” between TDM and packet                                                                      E1 per base station, reducing band-       operators to reduce the risk and
     multimedia applications, SONET/        verged network. New work is             work convergence success.              network clock sync methods                                                                       width available for customer traffic.      cost of network migration by
     SDH equipment is migrating to          underway addressing MPLS in             Sultan Dawood is a member of           calls for other solutions that retain                                                            This does not sound like much, but        decoupling synchronization from
     packet based transport based on        Mobile Backhaul networks, MPLS          the Broadband Forum’s Board                                                                                                             when you consider the demand              transport network evolution to all-IP
     MPLS. Many mobile service provid-      in Carrier Ethernet networks            of Directors and has expertise in         CLICK TO VIEW DIAGRAM                                                                         placed on the backhaul network to         and maintain the comfort, reliability
     ers are proactively revamping their    and respective certification test        developing IP/MPLS and Packet                                                                                                           support sync distribution to thou-        and security of their proven TDM-
     RAN backhaul to cost-effectively       specifications for both efforts.         Transport technologies and solu-                              LEGACY                    MIGRATION
                                                                                                                                                                                A                     L
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sands of base stations, this can          based synchronization. ●

                                                                                                                                                   2G/R99                         P
                                                                                                                                                                            3G +HSPA                    L
                                                                                                                                                                                                    4G +LTE

     migrate their hub-and spoke net-       For more information about these        tions. Sultan earned his Bachelor                                                                                                       amount to literally Gigabits of aggre-

                                                                                                                                                    All-TDM                                          ALL IP
     work architectures to a meshed         important initiatives, check out        of Science degree in Electrical                                                                                                         gate backhaul capacity reserved for


                                                                                                                                                 TDM Sync                                         All-Packet Sync
                                                                                                                                                                               Syncc      TM

     network edge, with IP/MPLS             http://www.broadband-forum.org/         Engineering from Old Dominion                                                                                                           sync. When you also consider that
                                                                                    University in Norfolk, Virginia. ●
                                                                                                                                                  Maintain                  Transition
                                                                                                                                                                            T                       T
     Layer 3 routing intelligence moving    technical/technicalwip.php.                                                                       existing TDM voice services     Optomization &
                                                                                                                                                                             introduction of IP
                                                                                                                                                                                                   All-Packet 4G Backhaul
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            many operators (particularly in the

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Description: SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) is a way of multiplexing, line transmission and switching functions integrated, unified network management system operated by the integrated messaging network, Bell Communications Research Institute in the United States proposed synchronous optical network (SONET ). Advisory Committee on International Telephone and Telegraph (CCITT) (now ITU-T) in 1988 accepted the concept and renamed SONET SDH, making it applicable not only to fiber also apply to microwave and satellite transmission of the common technical system. It enables the effective management of the network, real-time business control, dynamic network maintenance, interoperability between different vendors equipment and many other features, can greatly increase the utilization of network resources, reduce management and maintenance costs, flexible, reliable and efficient network operation and maintenance Therefore, the field is the world's information transmission technology in the development and application of the hot spots, attracting widespread attention.