Altai’s participation in CommunicAsia 2010 has been a great success. Altai launched its brand-new all-in-one A8-Ei Super WiFi Base Station in the show. The newly-launched Altai A8-Ei base station is specially designed for 3G operators to quickly expand their data network capacity by co-locating with their existing 3G cell sites. The Altai A8-Ei is an all-in-one integrated base station that is simply plug and play for 3G operators. The visitors were amazed by the super long range coverage of A8-Ei and the feedback was very positive.
Meanwhile, Altai’s CEO Mr. Chi-hung Lin was invited as the speaker of CommunicAsia 2010, to talk about “How WiFi Technology is Helping Redefine the Mobile Operator Business Model”. The discussion pointed out that Mobile networks are already under strain from bandwidth-hungry mobile internet applications. To ease traffic pressure, 3G operators could either make huge investments in network capacity or wait for years for nationwide 4G deployments. Alternatively, data offloading from 3G to long range WiFi can be an excellent solution.
Altai Super WiFi System Selected by the Tanger Med Port in Morocco for Video Surveillance
The Tanger Med port is ideally located on the Strait of Gibraltar, enabling it to become a platform for export, industry and services, to Europe and the North America market. It is the largest port on the Mediterranean and in Africa by capacity, and went into service in July 2007.
Using Altai A2 WiFi Access Point, Sigmatel - Altai’s partner in North Africa, successfully deployed a WiFi network that connects video surveillance cameras put in different places of the port via 5GHz backhaul links. In phase 2 of the project, the Tanger Med Port will further expand its wireless network to cover the whole port.
Backend Solution for Nationwide WiFi
A successfully operated WiFi network requires the following criteria:
A sound business model with paying customers for government, business, and residential applications
A high performance Wi-Fi access network with low capex and opex
A backend infrastructure to handle wholesale models, interconnection with large customer domains, and provisioning of services
Since Altai Super WiFi solution easily meets the second criterion, when we work with our partner WISP in planning a nationwide WiFi network, one of our first priorities is to come up with a robust and scalable backend infrastructure.
The initial rollout includes a dozen of municipalities, ranging from towns with a few hundred users to cities with thousands of them, all interconnected by fiber. Customers access the WiFi service through web portal. Ultimately, WiFi coverage will be extended to the rest of the nation. In the more densely populated areas, the C1 Super WiFi CPE will be offered to customers for more reliable access.
We settle on a centralized authentication architecture for the backend, as it gives WISP the ability to centrally manage all subscribers, create comprehensive profiles that define access entitlements across all available services and networks, and avoid re-provisioning subscribers into multiple databases as the WiFi network expands. Furthermore, it provides a unified subscriber view that allows fast and flexible service creation.
The architecture consists of several NOCs, each houses service controllers for providing web portal login redirection, bandwidth control, and accounting. The service controllers are set up to provide one to many redundancy and failover. Furthermore, The NOC themselves are interconnected to achieve further redundancy.
Traffic at a remote town is tunneled back to one of the NOCs. Thus, service controllers act as centralized entities for handling user authentication and accounting. The AAA system, web portal, and DHCP server are hosted in a separate data center.
Altai 3G Backhaul Offload Solution
The five factors that lead to 3G data traffic overload not only reflect at the 3G access side, but also impose traffic burden to the 3G backhaul. This is shown in the figure below:
The existing 2G and 3G backhaul TDM microwave equipment can no longer provide sufficient capacity or cost effectively support the high capacity 3G traffic. Currently the microwave backhaul links are supporting both voice and data traffic simultaneously, from a variety of 2G and 3G base stations as shown below. However, the SLP (service level pledge) requirement for data is lower than voice, and the high volume data traffic should not have to transport over the expensive TDM links. Therefore, it is desirable to offload the data traffic using other cost effective solutions, while keeping the existing backhauls for voice. Altai offers such 3G backhaul offload solutions as illustrated in the following diagram.
The benefits of Altai 3G backhaul offload solution include:
Immediate addition of throughput capacity for 3G data
No change to 2G and 3G voice traffic – No risk
High 3G data traffic go through cost effective A2 backhaul
The same solution also supports WiFi access traffic
Future proof to LTE migration – Ethernet based with connectivity and routing capacities