Alca-Lu introduces LTE evolved packet core

Alcatel-Lucent announced it is leveraging its heavy expertise in the wireline packet core space to bring to market its Evolved Packet Core (EPC) product designed specifically for operators deploying Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.

Alcatel-Lucent said the EPC is a critical element of its end-to-end LTE solution. The vendor now is able to deliver an LTE RAN, packet core and IMS to help operators deliver applications such as high-quality video. Alcatel-Lucent has taken the router it now sells into the wireline market and adapted it to the wireless environment. On the wireline side, more than 30,000 7750 SR nodes have shipped to to more than 260 operators.

Basil Alwan, president of Alcatel-Lucent's IP activities said the vendor is conducting trials of the EPC with a multitude of operators. 

The Evolved Packet Core incorporates four elements, including: the Mobility Management Entity (MME) and Dynamic Services Controller (DSC), which manage dynamic mobility and policy; and the Serving Gateway (SGW) and Packet Data Network (PDN) Gateway, which are implemented as plug-in hardware and software modules for the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router. With the 7750 SR, operators are able to deploy a single router that supports 2G, 3G and LTE as well as wireline networks, reducing cost, complexity and space requirements, the vendor said.

In addition to winning a big LTE RAN contract with Verizon Wireless earlier this month, Alcatel-Lucent also won a piece of the packet core contract. Starent Networks also won a contract for the packet core.

This week, Starent introduced the XT30 Service convergence Platform that allows operators to tap into existing mobile core networks to deploy new multimedia services on next-generation Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and IMS networks. The platform provides voice and messaging solutions that bridges devices between legacy and next-generation networks, and supports applications such as converged VoIP, femtocells, messaging and presence solutions. Regional provider Cellcom is using the platform as part of its femtocell solution.

Starent also announced a suite of intelligent In-line Services for its LTE EPC offering to help operators cope with real-time latency sensitive services such as voice and video to larger bandwidth gaming and rich media applications.

Starent's strategy differs from Alcatel-Lucent's in that it's selling into 3G operators to not only help them with services like femtocells but prepare them for the all-IP world that will happen with LTE.

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Related articles:
Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson win Verizon LTE deal
Verizon will announce LTE vendors at MWC
Verizon to deploy LTE by late 2009
Nokia applauds Verizon Wireless' LTE choice
Motorola starts Verizon LTE trials
2008 Year in Review: LTE gains significant momentum

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