Decentralised LTE Network: Lower Latency – More Efficiency

The world is moving from LTE network to 5G and the demands of “connected cities” with many thousands of Internet of Things (IoT) devices needing to intercommunicate in real time. This is driving the requirement for faster low-cost low-latency connectivity.

Challenges of a Traditional Centralised Network

In the traditional 4G or LTE network model, the Enhanced Packet Core (EPC) is centralised and includes the core HSS, MME, PGW, SGW components, plus the PCRF, IMS and management functions, in one or more data centres. The eNodeBs are located at the network edge, to provide localised cellular coverage. But the control plane and user plane data are transited back to the central EPC components.

This architecture requires significant bandwidth between the eNodeBs and the central EPC and the centralised components also need to aggregate all of the user data, requiring expensive and high-capacity hardware. Communication between devices at the edge of the network, even devices in the same location, incurs latency while the data is transited via the central EPC.

Decentralised LTE Network: Moving Data Communications to the Edge

A decentralised LTE network model uses multiple nodes at the network edge. Each of which includes the MME, PGW and SGW components (and may also include decentralised HSS, PCRF, IMS components) to allow devices attached to eNodeBs on that node, to communicate with minimal latency.

As a result of moving data communication to the edge, the bandwidth requirement at each decentralised node is also lower than in the centralised model. Therefore the components can run on less expensive hardware and can also make use of localised internet breakout when available, to reduce backhaul to the central data centre. Localised internet caching can also be used at each edge node, to further reduce latency.

In addition to greater efficiency at the network edge, SiRRAN’s decentralised model also helps carriers and private LTE network users leverage not only terrestrial infrastructure, but also better utilise satellite networks for affordable ubiquitous coverage in any country and in any terrain.

A Reduced-Footprint EPC

SiRRAN’s NetCore LTE solution is designed as a reduced-footprint EPC, which is ideally suited for use in a decentralised network model; using a virtualised, edge of network installation of the MME, SGW and PGW components that integrates with a local HSS, PCRF and IMS platform. The NetCore LTE API also facilitates remote configuration and monitoring of the EPC components, from a centralised management function.

SiRRAN – in its partnership with NetNumber – has demonstrated this capability with integration to NetNumber’s TITAN solution; providing a scalable, decentralised LTE network architecture for the future.

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September 6, 2018

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