With the growth in mobile data traffic, service providers are faced with a variety of simultaneous, and often conflicting challenges including says Al-Lu: increasing network capacity while reducing the cost per bit of supporting data services; enabling new business models beyond today's ‘all you can eat' offerings; and transforming their networks to take advantage of the benefits of the shift to all-IP networks, which offer simplified operational models and reduced complexity.
"As mobile data traffic continues to grow, every part of the network is being strained," said Peter Jarich, Service Director with Current Analysis and author of the company's most recent mobile packet core analysis: "Mobile Packet Core: Engine of Mobile Broadband Success." "While we applauded Alcatel-Lucent's entry into the EPC space last year, we encouraged the company to expand its solution into 2G/3G operations to better serve their mobile broadband customers and best leverage their expertise in the RAN, IP core and vendor services spaces. The new solution expansion does just that. More importantly, positioning its gateways alongside policy and analytics tools helps to deliver a fuller mobile packet core solution - and helps operators with the service differentiation they're all chasing."
The new products and enhancements announced today are said to deliver capabilities at every point in the network, including the 3G and LTE mobile packet core. The company says that service providers will now be able to deliver bandwidth-hungry, enriched and personalized services with enhanced subscriber quality of experience - all with reduced provisioning, operating and maintenance costs across all parts of the network, from the radio access network (RAN) to the backhaul elements and into the packet core.
Alcatel-Lucent's Ultimate Wireless Packet Core offering includes the following new capabilities:
- 2G and 3G GGSN (Gateway GPRS Support Node) functionality on Alcatel-Lucent's 7750 Service Router-based mobile packet core gateways. Alcatel-Lucent's 4G mobile packet core gateway platform now supports GGSN for 2.5G and 3G as well as Serving Gateway and Packet Data Network Gateway for LTE, giving service providers a seamless and massively scalable solution for GPRS/EDGE, HSPA, HSPA+ and LTE. The 7750 SR delivers more than ten times the performance and scale of typical 3G packet core gateways, has been in global LTE trials since 2009 and will be available for commercial delivery of 2G, 3G and LTE services in the second half of 2010.
- The new Alcatel-Lucent Wireless Mobility Manager (WMM), a high-performance and scalable solution for 2.5G/3G SGSN (Serving GPRS Support Node) and LTE MME (Mobility Management Entity) on an in-house designed and optimized, common ATCAv2 platform. This combined functionality enables operators to expand or renovate their existing packet cores to support HSPA and HSPA+ today while having the signaling and control plane performance required of an MME when they migrate to LTE.
To address the need for smarter bandwidth, enabling mobile operators to improve network efficiency and monetization, Alcatel-Lucent's end-to-end wireless network and policy management offering now includes:
- The new Alcatel-Lucent 5780 Dynamic Services Controller (DSC), which provides the 3G and LTE PCRF (Policy Charging and Rules Function), enabling mobile operators to optimize and monetize network resources, while offering personalized choice for the subscriber in both a 3G and LTE environment. The Alcatel-Lucent 5780 DSC also provides the foundation for converged wireline/wireless policy management to enable any application on any screen, anywhere. The 5780 DSC is currently in global trials and will be available for commercial 3G and LTE service delivery in the second half of 2010.
- Enhancements to the Alcatel-Lucent 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM) to include support for the Ultimate Wireless Packet Core and 5780 DSC, including unified, end-to-end management of user (data) and control planes across mobile backhaul and packet core. The 5620 SAM, deployed by more than 270 service providers to date, provides automated configuration and fault/performance management tools that decrease time to market for new mobile services and minimize downtime when problems occur.