SingleRAN can provide a unique convergent solution
Inevitably, from human to fiscal resources, the global economic crisis has had far-reaching consequences, many of which extend to the telecom industry. A recent report projected the telecom services market generated $1.4 trillion in 2009, representing only a 1% year-on-year growth compared with the much healthier 10-11% annual rates enjoyed in recent years.
Worsening the situation for many telcos has been the steady decline in revenue increases from the previously buoyant use of voice services. Overall profit from mobile subscribers may have advanced during the last decade but individual operator gains have been offset and diluted by fierce and added competition.
To maintain market viability and customer loyalty, mobile operators urgently need a new revenue engine. Specifically, operators have requested a solution that cost-effectively addresses the long-term, data heavy needs of rapidly expanding demand for wireless broadband service across multiple platforms. In anticipation of which there already exist to date over 240 HSPA networks and approximately 250 GSM networks.
In order to survive the harsh economic climate, operators must maintain existing standards and services while also structuring their networks in anticipation of the recovery.
With multiple expanding network needs and budget restraints resulting from reduced cash flow, this creates something of an impossible dilemma in the form of two questions. How can operators afford introduction of a high performance network that competently covers existing requirements? How can operators provide for future expansion, while also reducing TCO?
The SingleRAN, an industry first, provides a uniquely convergent solution for all foreseeable primary network needs. Paving the way for a new era and spurring eventual market recovery, the development embraces three essential elements (Uni-equipment, Uni-site and Uni-operation) into one answer to questions from operators around the world.
A SingleRAN solution
Uni-equipment: Smooth Evolution & Investment Protection
Currently, over 90% pf the world’s 2G operators administer multiple networks with all the implicit burdens of maintenance and human resources. These GSM operators face the added dilemma of managing a balance between existing 2G and emerging 3G services.
The modular and multi-mode design of 4th Generation BTS, supporting 2G and 3G in one compact cabinet, presents the ultimate solution. With its integrated SDR and MCPA technologies, software defined radio and multiple carrier power amplifiers, the 4th Generation BTS also supports software upgrades from GSM to UMTS on a single module - protecting operators’ earlier investments in existing GSM equipment. Meanwhile, the SingleRAN solution provides the integration of BSC and a RNC into a multi-mode BSC.
Uni-site: Fast, Low Cost Deployment
Traditional antenna deployment involves a combiner, leading to a loss of 3dB, adversely affecting network coverage and QoS. New technology has introduced the SASU (Same-band Antenna Sharing Unit) combiner, incurring a loss of 0.6dB. With the SDR and MCPA technologies of the 4th Generation BTS, both GSM and UMTS networks can share the same antenna system and run without loss from a single module.
Following a global trend, everyday vendors introduce additional IP transmission sharing devices. However, most IP transmission remains dependent on external equipment, limiting service convergence for 2G and 3G. With the multi-mode BSC and the 4th Generation BTS, transmission sharing is achievable within the system and allows future service convergence. The value of the dual stack transition mechanism for ATM and IP, and hybrid transmission and clock synchronization over IP, translates into ultimately smooth and flexible network evolution. With a single decision, operators can now reduce not only costs but also the time previously spent on construction and deployment.
Uni-operation: Simplified, Low Cost Network Operation & Maintenance
With traditional 2G and 3G OAM solutions, configuration and monitoring are separate functions requiring separate monitoring teams. The co-OAM permitted by this solution combines all operations on one platform. Network maintenance efficiency improves by more than 40%.
Co-RNP/RNO allows constant 2G/3G network performance monitoring for further analysis. At the same time, co-RRM (Radio Resource Management), co-TRM (Transmission Resource Management) further simplify and improve RNP/RNO functionality and performance.
Co-RRM auto-allocates radio resources between 2G and 3G networks based on service and load: e.g. data service to 3G and voice service to 2G, or service from a heavily loaded cell to a lightly loaded cell in either network. The data service throughput improves by as much as 25%. OPEX also benefits as the Co-RRM function automatically shuts down the lightly loaded carriers to save power consumption and the SingleRAN solution dynamically allocates radio resources to ensure the most reasonable usage. Switch time is reduced by 10% through control and management of radio resources.
To guarantee the QoS, traditional 2G and 3G platforms also dictated separate transmission resource management. With this solution, auto-transmission configuration manages both 2G and 3G services. With co-TRM, transmission sharing can be implemented for both voice and data services, guaranteeing QoS and improving transmission efficiency from 5%-10%. It is a realistic and proven way of going green.
The operator benefits are threefold.
a) One network ensures long-term viability: Multi-mode BSC reduces the number of components by 30%, and Uni-BTS with SDR technology, allows next generation network upgrade with no construction cycle. Quickly and economically, new services can be introduced well ahead of any traditionally based competition. Overall operation is easier, more cost-efficient and operators can smoothly evolve systems while reducing TCO and protecting earlier investments.
b) One deployment means maximized TCO savings: Very convincingly, the SingleRAN solution has already been applied to cover existing GSM and 3G networks with annual cost savings of 17.1%, or US $69.3 million, projected by one European operator alone over the next five years’ deployment. Since multiple network systems can use one uniform equipment room and auxiliary facilities, formerly budgeted individual equipment room costs (from installation to power and maintenance) are now completely avoidable.
Deployment of a multi-mode network with shared resources significantly improves savings and efficiencies — from site acquisition, tower and shelter construction to power supply, antenna and transmission expenditures.
c) One team translates into optimized human resources: Prior to the SingleRAN solution, O&M costs typically accounted for as much as 75% of an operator’s TCO. The integration of 2G and 3G operations into one solution means that operators’ TCO (including OAM and RNP/RNO) reduces with significant potential benefit to bottom line profitability.
Allowing operators a first-time opportunity of truly deriving the ultimate benefits of ownership, the SingleRAN solution will help operators establish a “maintenance-free” infrastructure that is critical to market and industry recovery. With an enhanced single service platform, quality of service can be maintained, new applications quickly introduced, end user appeal and ARPU increased, and competitive strengths enhanced. The SingleRAN truly affords our expanding wireless world a viable solution that is “One for All” taking the operators to the next step of Wireless network convergence.
The author of this article is Mr. Sethumadhavan Srinivasan, Deputy Director, Marketing & Strategy, Huawei India.
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