Wednesday, January 28, 2009

MPLS Backhaul for LTE ?

I never read much about MPLS except for attending few classes on it in my university to get my Masters degree. But for past couple of days I am trying to understand MPLS and how can it be used as back haul in LTE. The traditional T1 lines currently used will have to fade away as the air interface bandwidth has increased from 10 Kbps to 100 Mbps, that is by 10000 folds and laying more T1/E1 lines to support such speeds in the back haul would increase the cost tremondously. So moving to ethernet is a possible solution. I first read an article whose link was published in LTE group in LinkedIn. I was pretty much fascinated by the article and it made some sense to me. Iam still trying to draw conclusions but first "how does MPLS work" is what I should be doing this weekend.
The following links would give more insights on MPLS back haul for 4G networks.
LTE and Black Sawn
Mobile Back haul for Mobile Wimax and LTE by Sprint Nextel
MPLS in Mobile Back haul Networks : Frame work and requirements


kudikudi said...

Hi Santosh,

Very useful links and information you have here. I've earlier worked on MPLS/PWE and am now working in the UE side, trying to evolve from UMTS to LTE.

What is missing in my understanding is that in LTE EPC architecture, how will the QCI QoS be guaranteed through the MPLS transport cloud? I mean, for each frame, since the GPRS TE-ID is not available in the MPLS cloud, how will the transport cloud know how much bandwidth to provision?

Santosh said...

Hii Samian

As far as my understanding goes, MPLS shouldnt have anything to do with UE's QoS. As the QoS parameters are negotiated during the tunnel creation, which is above MPLS, I am not sure if it is going to effect network layer at all as I havent deployed any MPLS networks. :)

In LTE, TEID is replaced with EPS Bearer ID (EBI) which identities a bearer. QoS for this bearer can be negotiated and UE can act accordingly.


shivlu jain said...

MPLS will reduce the cost of LTE deployment. In this case the operators who are already having a Metro Ethernet rings or traditional microwave links, in that case they can upgrade that backbone over ip cloud and on the top of it MPLS will work. The advantage of using MPLS is that they can run RSVP-Traffic Engineering tunnel which gives them the <50ms failover.
I am already working on these type of designs.

Shivlu Jain