SANTA CLARA, USA: Mobile broadband gateway developer Stoke Inc. introduced a new software release enabling mobile broadband operators to immediately support initial 4G/LTE deployments, while enhancing the profit potential of their current 3G networks.
Based on extensive lab and commercial operator trials, Stoke has enhanced both its StokeOS software and its SSX-3000 platform to address the specific requirements of high availability, reduced operational expense, high performance and end-to-end security in eNodeB aggregation.
Mobile data networks worldwide are buckling under the explosive growth in data traffic, driven by the popularity of data hungry smartphones, iPhones and, above all, Laptops with 3G modems.
StokeOS Version 4.5 offers an innovative platform enabling operators to improve performance, reduce churn and increase profitability from their existing 3G networks while they prepare for investment in 4G/LTE.
Stéphane Téral, Principal Analyst, mobile and FMC Infrastructure at international research and consulting firm Infonetics Research commented: "Despite the sophistication of traffic analysis tools as well as the wireline Internet experience, no one was smart enough to foresee the once-in-a-century mobile data traffic tsunami. Consequently, we have reached the point of urgency to develop and implement new tools and techniques that help mobile operators cope with and thrive in this new reality."
New features in StokeOS 4.5 support deployments of all-IP backhaul architect, and allow carriers to leverage lower-cost open IP transport networks at the earliest stages of 4G/LTE. Capabilities in this software version include intra-device resilience, redundancy within individual Stoke SSX-3000 devices to reduce cost, power, and overall footprint, and support both for femtocells and LTE eNodeB base stations.
"Based on extensive customer input as well as our own engineering vision, this release was specifically designed to deliver the security and performance features required by LTE deployments, while providing breakthrough functionality for the pressing needs of today’s 3G architectures," said Michael Homeier, vice president of product management at Stoke.
"StokeOS 4.5 allows us to deliver a truly scalable gateway at home in both 3G and 4G environments, and supports operators’ best-of-breed selection strategy to optimize their LTE investments."
According to recent analyst reports, telecommunications carriers worldwide will be deploying next generation networks for their wireless backhaul starting in 2012 to satisfy surging demand from bandwidth hungry services and devices.
The multitude of radio standards is also putting pressure on vendors to implement reconfigurable software solutions, and on operators to revamp their mobile core networks to an all-IP platform. StokeOS Version 4.5 addresses these requirements for multi-vendor, all-IP environments while supporting both 3G and 4G architectures.
Four main considerations for eNodeB aggregation
Secure Communications: When open IP is used for wired or wireless backhaul, the signaling and subscriber traffic must be secured from the eNodeB to the operator core. The SSX-3000 is a high density, high throughput security gateway, providing line rate, low-latency, encrypted communications.
Tunnel Management: Unlike user to network secure sessions, the interaction between eNodeB and the security aggregator is of "network to network" type, therefore traffic destined for user endpoints as well as to the eNodeB itself must be protected. The gateway must be able to distinguish between traffic to subscribers and traffic destined for the eNodeB in the same encrypted tunnel. StokeOS 4.5 also provides a range of tunnel initialization and recovery options to ensure non-stop operations.
Deployment Flexibility: The gateway must be capable of supporting many types of home, pole-top and macro eNodeB units from a range of eNodeB suppliers to support expected operator LTE radio access network deployment models. It must also support different deployment architectures, providing operators with the freedom to select best-of-breed solutions for 4G, and 3G environments.
Operational Efficiency: In lab and commercial trials, customers identified efficiencies in space and power usage, multiple functionality, high availability and high scalability as key operational metrics.
Highest throughput, lowest cost per subscriber
The SSX-3000 delivers connection and traffic throughput densities from 8,000 to 240,000 connected subscribers, in throughput configurations from 4Gbps to 16Gbps, in a five-rack unit form factor.
Each gateway can support multiple concurrent applications, offering massive capital, energy and operational savings and 7x - 10x improvement in cost per session over traditional solutions, together with strong standards-based authentication and IP security capabilities.