This blog is by Teemu Mäkinen at Nokia Solutions and Networks.
There are a LOT of mobile devices out there today, from hand-held to machine-to-machine (M2M), and all of them pose different requirements for operators’ Evolved Packet Core (EPC) networks. The key for a profitable EPC network is to support all customer segment requirements simultaneously.
Each customer segment affects the EPC network differently:
• Smartphones increase network data traffic as well as signaling
• Data dongles create high data traffic but have low mobility
• M2M devices such as electricity meters can heavily increase session density when introduced en masse but have low mobility and generate a low amount of data traffic – but provisioning millions of electricity meters will certainly increase OPEX
Consider this scenario:
Operator X has 15 million subscribers (dongle and smartphone users) but it doesn’t currently have an NSN Evolved Packet Core network. Operator X decides to launch a new smartphone with a massive marketing campaign. At the same time, it wins a contract with a nationwide energy company for the introduction of remote reading electricity meters. Following the successful campaign, smartphone penetration reached 50%, which heavily increased the data and signaling traffic.
But Operator X’s network performance was significantly compromised. In order to support the combined smartphone, dongle, and electricity meter traffic, Operator X is now faced with a significant investment to its EPC network, and every added network element spells higher OPEX. With NSN’s EPC, Operator X would have been able to support signaling, data and user connections simultaneously in order to scale profitably across all customer segments – and actually reduce CAPEX/OPEX by up to 40%.
How it works
The key to NSN EPC’s enviable performance, particularly the gateway, is attributed to the use of multi-core packet process technology in the blades. This allows for dedicated resources for signaling, data and user connections and is a far more competitive alternative than the typical router based gateways, which cannot be scaled profitably across customer segments.
With M2M devices onboard, operators will also benefit from NSN Subscriber Data Management (SDM), which saves significantly on the cost of provisioning these devices for the network. SDM provides a single provisioning point for all types of subscribers, pre-provisioning of subscriptions and automated bulk provisioning, regardless of whether they have human or machine identities.