Fixed Wireless Access
Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) allows a Wireless ISP to deliver high-value cost-effective broadband services, removing the need for a wired connection to every house.
Typically, the eNodeBs are deployed in central locations around a community, with connections back to the Internet. Each eNodeB serves up to 64 Fixed Wireless Access subscribers. Each subscriber has a CPE on their house and use it to receive broadband services.
The scalability and flexibility of the AttoEPC is ideally suited for Fixed Wireless Access applications. The AttoEPC consists of the three network functions: Home Subscriber Server (HSS), Extended Packet Core (EPC) and either a SGW/PGW Gateway or a Local Gateway (LGW).
A SGW/PGW Gateway is used when AttoEPC is run completely in the datacenter or completely in the eNodeB.
A LGW Gateway is used when the HSS and EPC are run in the datacenter and the gateway function only is run on the eNodeB.
There are four deployment scenarios which relate to where each of the three network functions are homed. This depends on the operator’s requirements for the HSS location and the user traffic breakout.
1. Distributed HSS with Embedded EPC
The simplest and most cost-effective deployment model is to use eNodeBs containing an embedded HSS and an embedded EPC. The user traffic is broken out at the eNodeBs. The HSS is distributed across the eNodeBs. Centralised management configuration is pushed out to permanent storage on the relevant eNodeBs. Each eNodeB acts as a self contained network in a box and can operate autonomously.
2. Centralised HSS with Embedded EPC
For a Wireless ISP with an existing HSS or for enhanced physical security of the HSS, this scenario deploys eNodeBs with embedded EPCs connecting back to a centralised HSS. The user traffic is broken out at the eNodeBs. The EPC must maintain connection to the central HSS for fully functional operation.
3. Centralised EPC with Embedded LGW
The AttoEPC can be deployed with the EPC and the HSS hosted in the cloud or on a server deployed in a datacenter.
User plane processing is distributed over the eNodeBs which incorporate an embedded LGW. This allows the user traffic to be routed directly to the Internet instead of being routed through the network core.
This scenario deploys a centralised approach while offloading gateway functionality and traffic routing to the network edge. The relativity low amount of signalling for Fixed Wireless Access is delivered by the central EPC.
4. Centralised EPC
If the eNodeBs are connected to a central location via leased lines, then there is little benefit of data offload in the eNodeB, and the option of a centralised EPC can be considered. This also helps with mobility, when Fixed Wireless Access is deployed alongside other mobile services. The user traffic is broken out centrally.