Innovative Smallcell Performance Assurance solutions by Accedian Networks

Innovative Performance Assurance Solutions for Small Cells

As low-power, short-range Small Cells emerge as the technology of choice for improving mobile network coverage and capacity, the number of radio nodes (“Access Points”) increases and as Small Cells complement, improve and densify Macro Cells, Small Cell backhaul like traditional Mobile backhaul, becomes ever more important. Operators will need to ensure that their customers have the same quality of experience (QoE) and quality of service (QoS) that they are accustomed to via Access Points as they currently have on the traditional Macro network.

One of the most important factors that affect the mobile user’s Quality of Experience (QoE) is the quality of an operator’s backhaul transport network. Backhaul performance not only affects the data throughput available to mobile users, but also the overall performance of the RAN. 

Today, most network traffic is downstream; where the switch/router is blindly pushing traffic without any visibility of available bandwidth on links or paths. This action propagates congestion, packet drops and delay, in the direction from the RNC to remote small cell sites. Furthermore, traffic sent by the RNC will be dropped further down in the network and will affect consumers downstream link capacity unnecessarily.

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In the Macro network environment, TWAMP(Two-Way Active Measurement Protocol) is often the ONLY way to achieve end-to-end performance assurance from the switch/router to small cell sites (“Small Cells”). Due to TWAMPs ability to enable multi-vendor, forward-looking performance visibility.

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Quality, performance and reliability of small cell backhaul is critical to the overall user experience and customer satisfaction that operators rely on performance assurance tools to verify and monitor key performance metrics, such as Frame Delay (FD), Frame Delay Variation (FDV), Packet Loss and Availability on their IP and Carrier Ethernet-based backhaul for Small Cells. Performance Assurance solutions have been used widely in the deployment of Macro Cell backhaul networks, it is also a necessity for monitoring and proactive alarming of Small Cell backhaul.

Regardless of Access Point vendor, type or technology (IE: 3G, 4G, etc…) the need for probeless and ubiquitous coverage of performance assuracee via core-to-edge TWAMP (IP-based) active measurements - without the need for any dedicated probe at the cell site is key.

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It is estimated that Small Cells will enable operators to extend coverage near or beyond Macro cell boundaries, and fill in for ‘not spots’ and with Small Cells expecting to reach $22 billion by 2016, with 92 million deployed units (Informa Feb 2013), operators need to ensure that their networks are able to adapt and continue to deliver performance, quality of experience to their customers.

ACCEDIAN SOLUTIONS FOR SMALL CELLS

The Accedian Networks NanoNID™, a Small Form Pluggable unit for Performance Assurance for Small cells, provides an innovative way to offer key Performance Assurance features such as TWAMP, Performance Monitoring (PM) and Connectivity Fault management (CFM) into deployed Network Elements. In addition, the NanoNID can enhance existing legacy network elements instead of replacing them, thereby saving truck rolls and costs to the network operator.

The NanoNID acts as virtual test and service assurance tool set, which can provide key service management capabilities such as Remote Troubleshooting, Performance Measurement and Capacity Planning. It is an alternative and efficient  way to enable support for Service Activation Testing (SAT).

The rich feature set of the NanoNID solution includes:

  • Future Proof Field Programmability:  New functionality can easily be downloaded remotely to the NanoNID, without the need for a truck roll
  • Remote management: With its unique design, the NanoNID can be managed remotely without the need for an embedded software agent
  • Allows for the seamless integration with existing Accedian Networks V-NID™ Solution Suite
  • Layer 2 or Layer 3 performance management and troubleshooting with ETH-OAM and TWAMP-Light
  • Enables RFC-2544 and ITU-T Y.1564 automated Service Activation Testing capabilities
  • Delivers tremendous savings in power consumption and space
  • Enables end-to-end assurance of multi-vendor, multi-technology Access Points and legacy network elements

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Accedian’s V-NID™ solution suite is a standards-based, one-way and two-way Network Performance Assurance & SLA Monitoring solution that enables operators, both mobile carriers and service providers, to verify, validate and visualize their network.

The V-NID performance assurance suite provides a comprehensive solution for verifying networks on a granular and continuous basis, as well as, validating SLA conformance. By utilizing standard reflectors, such as ETH-OAM or TWAMP, integrated into the network components in combination with Accedian's patented measurement technique, the V-NID solution suite enables one-way monitoring of network performance with high accuracy, without the need for dedicated hardware test points at each connection end.

The Accedian V-NID solution provides the accurate performance monitoring capabilities mobile carriers have come to expect in Macro Cell deployments, in a cost-effective approach that enables it to be applied in Small Cell network deployments.

The V-NID solution suite delivers:

  • Standards-based one-way  and two-way network performance assurance solution using ETH-OAM, TWAMP already present in network elements
  • Extended measurement types for even greater performance visibility
  • Patented, high-accuracy one-way delay measurement technique without need for synchronized hardware test points at each end of connection
  • Centralized or distributed measurement injection using the V-NID Actuator
  • Centralized provisioning, management, mediation and reporting via the V-NID Manager
  • IPv4 and IPv6 dual stack for both management and TWAMP measurement
  • IP, Ethernet and OAM end-user experience metrics summarized and displayed via VisionMETRIX™ performance monitoring dashboard

The NanoNID solution in combination with the V-NID performance assurance solution are easy to deploy, cost effective and use industry-standards such as IEEE 802.1ag, ITU-Y.1731 and IETF TWAMP to help operators assure Layer 2 or Layer 3 backhaul transport of Voice, Data and Wi-Fi services to ensure QoE, manageability and the ability to monitor backhaul performance and service level objectives for FD, FDV, Packet Loss and Availability.  These solutions delivers connectivity from the cell site to the gateway/central office- all while supporting multiple backhaul methods, such as bonded-copper, fiber, DSL and optimizing the use of RAN and backhaul resources.