With the goal of improving public safety, U.S. state and local governments are upgrading the wireless networks used by Police, Fire and EMS first-responder agencies. They are creating a nationwide network based on LTE solutions that leverage the latest technologies and the 700MHz spectrum (D Block) set aside for public safety — and they need compact LTE solutions.
These dedicated networks ensure that first-responders can communicate with each other without relying on public networks that are susceptible to down infrastructure or jammed circuits caused by callers seeking information about friends or relatives.
Carrier-Grade ATCA Hardware
Based on an ATCA hardware platform, the customer’s product is designed to operate in harsh environmental conditions, even when an operator’s Network Operation Center is in a vehicle. The system is built on industry-standard 13U/14-slot ATCA hardware from Radisys supported by redundant hot-swappable power supplies. The hardware supports varying degrees of redundant configurations to match operators’ network availability targets. The supported configurations are:
- Up to two 10G switch blades (Radisys ATCA-2210)
- Up to four compute blades (Radisys ATCA-XE80)
- Up to six packet processing blades (Radisys ATCA-7220)
The customer’s product supports on-chassis redundancy configurations consisting of 1+1 redundancy for the control plane and N+1 redundancy for the data plane. This scheme ensures active sessions are retained for all connected users, while user data loss is minimized by the load-balancing feature of the data plane traffic should the chassis experience a single blade failure.
Anticipating passage of legislation allocating 700MHz spectrum for public safety purposes, Radisys’ customer wanted to be first-to-market with an LTE platform addressing the special needs of this segment. In addition to supporting a full LTE core network, the platform had to be scalable, flexible, and highly available. To meet their aggressive product launch plans, the customer contracted with Radisys Professional Services to assist in integrating the protocol stacks, writing applications, and profiling and optimizing performance.
Since Radisys’ assigned team (~20 engineers) all had prior experience with designing a collapsed EPC and a complete eNodeB, the ramp-up time was nearly zero. The Radisys engineers were truly an extension of the customer’s engineering team, who had visibility and control over the effort. In addition, Radisys protected the confidentiality of the project by creating development silos and even maintaining keyed entries to labs. With the help of Radisys, the development time was just eight months from a signed contact to a functional demonstration.
Understanding that needs vary across the country, Radisys’ customer set out to design a flexible LTE network solution that could scale from small to large networks to serve towns, counties, and states. Increasing capacity had to be as simple as adding processing blades to the chassis and activating additional subscriber licenses. For customers with existing mobile infrastructure, the solution required the flexibility to make use of legacy equipment. When supporting military applications or disaster response, the wireless network might be in van or military Humvee, so minimizing the size, weight, and power (SWaP) was essential.
Radisys’ customer met its objectives with an Evolved Packet Core (EPC) that is available in different hardware configurations, making it a highly scalable and cost-effective solution. It ships in either a 2- or 14-slot ATCA chassis from Radisys running the full complement of Trillium LTE protocol software, including open interfaces for integrating external network elements, if desired.
Rounding out an end-to-end LTE product portfolio, Radisys’ customer offers its LTE eNodeB, which is based on Trillium eNodeB software. These standards-compliant protocol stacks are pre-integrated with the industry’s leading wireless silicon providers, all wrapped together in a reference application that accelerates development. In order to speed up time-to-market and reduce development costs, the customer contracted Radisys Professional Services for platform integration, application development, and performance optimization.
Complete Compact LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC)
Having used Trillium software for its preceding 3G network solution, Radisys’ customer was familiar with the quality, breadth, and depth of the protocol software offering. With Trillium software, the customer designed a complete compact LTE EPC by combining a Serving Gateway (S-GW), Mobility Management Entity (MME), and Packet Data Network Gateway (PDN-GW) into a single chassis.
Since Radisys’ customer also based its eNodeB on Trillium software, the company benefits from a high level of interoperability and reduced project risk. The compact LTE EPC incorporated Trillium Distributed Fault-Tolerant / High Availability (DFT/HA) software for managing active/standby configurations to achieve redundancy. As a result, it is capable of maintaining active connectivity during software and hardware failures.
Another option for Radisys’ customer is to forgo a full ATCA platform and deploy the different network functions (i.e., MME, S-GW and PDN-GW) within the base station hardware itself. In other words, the portability and flexibility of Trillium software allows a network operator to take advantage of spare computing capacity in a base station (e.g., in a few excess cores in a multi-core processor).
Solution Example: Scalable Compact LTE EPC
Customer Profile & Business Environment
- Wireless equipment manufacturer
- Pioneer in designing and delivering innovative 3G and 4G/LTE wireless broadband solutions
- U.S. localities deploying LTE solutions to establish a nationwide public safety network
- Customer wanted to gain a first-mover advantage with a flexible LTE network solution for public safety
- Needed fully-controlled and flexible end-to-end compact LTE network for the public safety market
- Needed proven LTE solutions and subject matter expertise
- Needed faster time to market
- ATCA platform, Trillium eNodeB and EPC software
- Professional Services for application design, development, and system integration
Why Radisys Won
- Offered scalable, redundant, and flexible software and hardware solutions for 4G/LTE networks
- Only company to offer a full complement of embedded software, hardware, and subject matter experts for LTE
- Company is on track to launch flexible first-response and multi-agency government network solutions
- Company’s solution delivers the highest performance per unit cost in the market