Monday, March 30, 2009

Video Presentation: Carrier Ethernet for Mobile Backhaul

Earlier this year, the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) approved "Carrier Ethernet for Mobile Backhaul Implementation Agreement (IA)", or MEF 22, which outlines how to apply existing MEF specifications and industry standards to meet the increasing demands on RAN backhaul.

Mobile backhaul networks until now relied on TDM and ATM technologies, with most locations served by (multiple) T1/E1 lines. Carrier Ethernet services are, however, optimized for packet data traffic and are increasingly available over a multitude of transport media -- including fiber, copper and microwave.


Several factors differentiate Ethernet Backhaul from other Ethernet networks, in particular the rapid handoff between base stations in mobile networks. Ethernet backhaul circuits require very tight performance requirements that must be supported by a deterministic architecture that reduces the number of hops required in a call. They must also provide the same level of network protection as PDH or SONET/SDH based networks. The MEF has identified these specific requirements and MEF 22 advises service providers how to successfully and cost-effectively implement Carrier Ethernet for mobile backhaul.

The MBIA addresses performance and quality of service parameters, synchronization options, recovery and protection mechanisms, and Ethernet OAM services. In addition, a Generic Inter-Working Function (GIWF) is defined for TDM-based traffic to be efficiently carried over the Ethernet network. New packet-based mobile backhaul networks introduce new architecture elements that the MBIA has identified and named to establish a common terminology and help to accelerate the adoption of Ethernet-based mobile backhaul networks across the industry.

The MBIA includes recommendations for the network design, architecture and operation of packet-based mobile backhaul networks and is designed to facilitate the deployment of profitable, data-driven mobile services by explaining both the benefits and technical implementation details. Meanwhile plans are underway for a second phase IA that will address further synchronization methods, emerging standards such as LTE and extended architectures.

See also