Centralized vs. Distributed EPC and the Role of SDN and Cloud

4Q 2012 | Technology Analysis Report | AN-1264 | 18 pages | 16 tables | 4 charts | 1 figure | PDF

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Mobile network operators worldwide are watching the all-IP 4G launches and drawing their own conclusions about when and how to proceed. While 2G and 3G networks are centralized and hierarchical, the 4G world is flatter and distributed. In 3GPP Release 8 the control plane is separate from the user plane, providing additional opportunities to optimize performance and cost.

The basic LTE Evolved Packet Core is a reference for best effort data services. Operators will customize and develop solutions to fit their particular needs and monetize their networks, include legacy assets and evolve to a distributed architecture. The operator’s choice is further complicated by the role of software-defined networking and cloud or virtualization technology.

This research addresses these decisions for the 4G LTE network and the options to consider. The top tier infrastructure vendors are covered, and also innovative niche focused firms.

Table of Contents

  • 1. PACKET CORE: CENTRALIZED, DISTRIBUTED, OR A BIT OF BOTH?
  • 2. FINDINGS
    • 2.1. RAN Vendors are Preferred for the EPC
    • 2.2. Combined 3G and 4G Support Is Pervasive
    • 2.3. The General Trend is Toward Distributed
    • 2.4. Edge Routers for Data Path According to Vendor Capability
    • 2.5. SDN/Cloud/Core Network Virtualization Is Here
    • 2.6. Software Defined Networking Is Evolving
  • 3. EVOLVED PACKET CORE
    • 3.1. RAN and EPC Vendors
    • 3.2. EPC Vendors
    • 3.3. Network-in-a-box
    • 3.4. Technology Suppliers
  • 4. CONSIDERATIONS
    • 4.1. Legacy Considerations
    • 4.2. Centralized and/or Distributed Considerations
    • 4.3. Service and Feature Considerations
    • 4.4. Equipment Considerations
    • 4.5. Public/Private/Hybrid Clouds/SDN/Virtualized
  • 5. ARCHITECTURES
  • 6. MARKET SIZING
  • 7. SOFTWARE DEFINED NETWORK/CLOUD/VIRTUALIZATION
    • 7.1. Application for Telecom IT
    • 7.2. Application to Telecom Network
    • 7.3. Drivers
    • 7.4. Hindrances
    • 7.5. Outlook
    • 7.6. Disruptive Possibility
  • 8. EPC VENDORS
    • 8.1. Alcatel-Lucent
    • 8.2. Ericsson
    • 8.3. Huawei
    • 8.4. Nokia Siemens Networks
    • 8.5. Samsung
    • 8.6. ZTE
    • 8.7. Cisco
    • 8.8. Juniper
    • 8.9. Fujitsu
    • 8.10. Hitachi
    • 8.11. NEC
    • 8.12. Connectem Inc.
    • 8.13. Polaris Networks
    • 8.14. Tecore
    • 8.15. WiPRO
  • 9. EPC VENDOR SUMMARY
    • 9.1. Vendors with Proprietary Hardware
    • 9.2. Vendors with Commercial Off-the-shelf Hardware
    • 9.3. Vendors with Niche Focus
    • 9.4. Innovation Leadership
  • 10. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATION

Tables

  1. Centralized and Distributed EPC, Various Architectures
  2. Alcatel-Lucent, Blade and Router EPC
  3. Ericsson , Blade and Router EPC
  4. Huawei, Blade and Router EPC
  5. Nokia Siemens Networks, Blade EPC
  6. Samsung, Blade EPC
  7. ZTE, Blade EPC
  8. Cisco, Blade EPC
  9. Juniper, Blade and Router EPC
  10. Fujitsu, Blade EPC Subset
  11. Hitachi, Blade EPC
  12. NEC, Blade EPC
  13. Connectem, EPC in a Box - Transaction Engine
  14. Polaris Networks, EPC in a Box
  15. Tecore, EPC in a Box
  16. WiPRO, EPC Technology Partner

Charts

  1. Evolved Packet Core , Forecast
  2. Evolved Packet Core Revenues, Global Forecast, 2012 to 2018
  3. Evolved Packet Core Installed B , Global Forecast, 2012 to 2018
  4. LTE Subscriber Base, Global Forecast, 2012 to 2018

Figures

  1. Evolved Packet Core, Topology


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