White Paper: Hosted mobile core – A path to LTE for regional providers As subscribers become more demanding of their mobile devices, including robust Internet access and real-time, rich multimedia communications, the need for wireless network operators to add capacity and multimedia support features is no longer a “nice-to-have;” it is an imperative. However, as the need to get serious about LTE deployments becomes more obvious, much of the discussion around supporting LTE services is focused on RAN issues such as small cell deployments and spectrum constraints. While vitally important, the need to support ubiquitous broadband access via radio links also mandates that those links be supported with equally robust backhaul and mobile core networks. Without these latter two pieces, the mobile broadband service delivery model breaks.
To help overcome the high cost of deploying, maintaining and operating LTE networks, a variety of wholesale backhaul and site sharing schemes are being utilized to defray costs in the RAN and backhaul. However, this still leaves the daunting challenge of building, maintaining and operating a next generation mobile core – or evolved packet core (EPC) – unaddressed. The focus of this paper is to examine shared, or hosted, core opportunities that can be particularly useful to smaller, regional wireless service providers as they seek to provide cutting edge mobile broadband services to their customers and compete with large national incumbent operators. This white paper is provided by Alcatel-Lucent.