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White Paper

The Alcatel WiMAX Solution

An End-to-End IP Architecture

WiMAX IEEE 802.16e-2005 has become recognized as

one of the key standards for broadband wireless access
in wide-area networks (WANs). With the acceptance of
this standard, Alcatel and other infrastructure suppliers
are today engaged in a vigorous competition that will
make this new technology more robust, as well as more
adapted to today’s service-provider and end-user needs.

Thus far, the bulk of published analysis surrounding

WiMAX has naturally focused on assessing the strengths
and weaknesses of WiMAX radio access networks in
isolation (either the standard generically, or supplier-
specific offers). By contrast, this paper will focus on
the Alcatel WiMAX End-to-End Reference Architecture,
demonstrating how Alcatel’s broad technology portfolio
can complement and enhance its Evolium WiMAX
Solution, thus optimizing both economic and
performance benefits.

1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2 Alcatel WiMAX: A Full IP Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2.1 WiMAX: An All-Purpose Access Network System . . . . . . . . . 1

2.2 The Alcatel WiMAX End-to-End Reference Architecture . . . . . 2

2.3 Core Network Architecture Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

3 Key Benefits of the Alcatel End-to-End Architecture . . . . 5

3.1 Full Range of Backhauling and Aggregation Option . . . . . . . 5

3.2 Secure Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA) . . 7

3.3 End-to-End Manageable Quality of Service (QoS) . . . . . . . . . 7

4 The Value of Alcatel WiMAX-Based Networks . . . . . . . . 8

The Alcatel WiMAX Solution – An End-to-End IP Architecture

> Seamless integration of the Alcatel WiMAX access

1 Introduction network into a service provider’s existing infra-
structure, thus preserving infrastructure investments,
WiMAX IEEE 802.16e-2005 has become recognized as as well as ensuring interworking with current and
one of the key standards for broadband wireless access in forthcoming applications
wide-area networks (WANs). With the acceptance of this > Scalable solutions in terms of architecture and services
standard, Alcatel and other infrastructure suppliers are complemented with application delivery platforms
today engaged in a vigorous competition that will make adapted to various service provider profiles (e.g., fixed,
this new technology more robust, as well as more adapted mobile, incumbent, and alternative)
to today’s service-provider and end-user needs. > Secure authentication, authorization and accounting
Thus far, the bulk of published analysis surrounding (AAA)
WiMAX has naturally focused on assessing the strengths > Single solution capable of providing both wireless-DSL
and weaknesses of WiMAX radio access networks in (W-DSL) access and mobile broadband services
isolation (either the standard generically, or supplier- > End-to-end dynamic QoS (transport and radio)
specific offers). By contrast, this paper will focus on manageable per subscriber, enabling carrier-grade
the Alcatel WiMAX End-to-End Reference Architecture, real-time sensitive services, such as voice and video.
demonstrating how Alcatel’s broad technology portfolio
can complement and enhance its Evolium® WiMAX Among other benefits, Alcatel’s extensive experience and
Solution, thus optimizing both economic and global presence in fixed and mobile broadband enables
performance benefits. the company to provide cost-conscious operators with
What is WiMAX? Other white papers from Alcatel an interlocking and wide array of solutions, services and
and the WiMAX Forum delve into this question in more applications — from advanced voice services to value-
technical detail, but WiMAX can be briefly described as: added data applications, including mobile video (e.g., live
> a WAN technology, capable of long reach (cell radiuses TV, video on demand).
measurable in kilometers).
> natively IP.
> broadband, with download bit rates per subscriber
2 Alcatel WiMAX:
of about 1 to 2 Mb/s. A Full IP Architecture
> designed for mobile, nomadic and fixed services.
As part of its commitment to delivering a complete
portfolio of access solutions, Alcatel is making available
A WiMAX-based access network permits operators to
a comprehensive set of WiMAX solutions designed to
benefit from:
provide operators with a cost-effective radio network.
> broadband mobile wireless access to complement
For this reason, Alcatel has sought to identify end-to-end
existing fixed or mobile infrastructures, and/or a
architectures, alongside its WiMAX product development,
> seamless services offer across different
to optimally leverage the access strengths of WiMAX for
comprehensive service and application delivery. Indeed,
as a worldwide leader in telecommunications holding
For its part, the Alcatel WiMAX architecture is adaptable
leading positions in fixed broadband access, optical
to the needs of diverse operator profiles, including incum-
transport and service-edge routing — to cite just a few
bent, challenger or greenfield licensees. For operators
examples — Alcatel is uniquely positioned to deliver end-
with fixed-network assets, it complements the DSL or
to-end WiMAX solutions.
cable infrastructure in terms of geographic coverage, or
Benefits of the Alcatel WiMAX solution include:
by extending existing broadband services beyond a fixed
> Reduced CAPEX and OPEX
location to “on-the-go” nomadic or mobile usage. For
> Universal access to data, voice and video provided
operators with wireless/mobile networks, WiMAX raises
through high-speed Internet (HSI) access (individual),
the possibility of multimode access to services and
VLAN (corporate/enterprise) and IMS
applications either via WiMAX wideband or the existing

A L C AT E L > 1
The Alcatel WiMAX Solution – An End-to-End IP Architecture

2G/3G or Wi-Fi infrastructure. Whatever the variant, 2.3.1 Full WiMAX integration with IMS and NGN
the Alcatel solution lets operators provide services and The Alcatel WiMAX solution allows for a complete
applications that are: integration of the WiMAX access network into a
> Ubiquitous and always-on to enable DSL-like end-user fixed (DSL or GPON) or mobile (UMTS or CDMA)
experience anywhere, anytime architecture.
> Reliable to deliver manageable, carrier-grade QoS In the case of integration with a mobile network, the
mechanisms, proposed solution allows the end user to access services
> Secure to provide authentication and control mecha- due to the common authentication and authorization
nisms to protect the network, while encryption is mechanisms implemented in the fixed or mobile network
employed to safeguard user-data privacy and integrity, part. Specifically, the Alcatel 1430 Home Subscriber
> Seamless to assure multiple access networks share a Service (HSS) provides AAA functions in addition to
common authentication, authorization and accounting IMS HSS.
(AAA) platform, while a common NGN/IMS core The Alcatel IMS solution’s value proposition can be
makes the networks both user- and application-aware. summarized as follows:
The net result is greater convenience and value for > Open - Any third party can develop on top of the
end-users, as well as higher subscriber retention and Alcatel 5350 IMS Application Server thanks to the
cost optimization for operators. open APIs, which are standards based (SIP Servlet).
> Ready to launch - The Alcatel solution provides an
2.2 THE ALCATEL WIMAX END-TO-END end-to-end, consistent, and future-proof platform for
REFERENCE ARCHITECTURE introducing user-centric services. Moreover, Alcatel
The WiMAX-based end-to-end architecture is divided into provides the core, the applications, and the terminal
two main parts: the WiMAX radio access network, as well software. This translates into reduced time-to-market
as the core network and application part (see Figure 1). and opportunities to achieve a competitive advantage.
Both parts are linked by clear and standardized interfaces The services set, which has been developed on top of
in order to ensure (a) compatibility with the existing the Alcatel 5350 IMS Application Server, includes:
infrastructure and investment protection, and (b) the flex- ¬ Instant Messaging
ibility to evolve the network to meet future user needs. ¬ Push-to-X (e.g., Push-to-Talk, Push-to-Show,
Due to the many elementary building blocks that are Push-to-Share)
part of the Alcatel portfolio, a key feature of the Alcatel ¬ Presence Server
WiMAX end-to-end solution is its capability of integrating ¬ Group List Management
seamlessly with an existing infrastructure and its adapt- ¬ Video Over IP Calling
ability to varying operator requirements. In this respect, ¬ Voice Over IP Calling, iFS and advanced services
the portfolio can provide either stand-alone radio access ¬ Conferencing
to broadband services or complement existing fixed or > Ready for massive VoIP deployment - The Alcatel
mobile network infrastructures. IMS solution is designed with carrier-class operational
and performance constraints. Due to the openness of
2.3 CORE NETWORK ARCHITECTURE OPTIONS the Alcatel NGN/IMS portfolio, the system is not only
Alcatel has designed several architectures based on WiMAX adaptable to different existing or planned network
in order to meet the specific requirements of different technologies but also sufficiently scalable to cope
network operators. Figure 1 identifies three main variants with operational deployment and subscriber growth.
in the core network, corresponding to the following > Extensible to stay ahead - The IMS solution is open,
requirements: modular and extensible to easily integrate new
> Full NGN/IMS integration, with total multimedia external services.
support (I+II+III), > Linked with the operator environment - The IMS
> NGN capabilities supporting QoS for VoIP, in either solution integrates with the existing environment, thus
complementary or stand-alone networks (I+II), providing operators with access bearer diversity while
> Data-access fundamentals, suitable for wholesale ensuring non-IMS and IMS service interoperability.
or simple “wireless DSL” type deployments (I only).

2 < A L C AT E L
Figure 1 - End-to-End WiMAX Reference Architecture


Customer Terminals Radio Network Backhaul/Aggregation (L2/L3) Network WiMAX Access Control and Management Application Servers

Nomadic/ 1353 Operation
9400 AWY/9500 MXC/
Fixed Terminals OMSN/ Management Center 7710/7750 SR
9500 MSS
Ethernet 1850 TSS

Optical 5350 Non OSS/ Billing

Last-mile Packet IMS IMS BSS

Ethernet OMSN/
Home III
over nxE1 1850 TSS Media/
OMSN/ Agent
1850 TSS 1696 MS/
10-02 1626 LM
The Alcatel WiMAX Solution – An End-to-End IP Architecture

1 2 3
abc def

4 5 6



OMSN/ (P-RTSP) Streaming Server
qrs tuv tuv

* 0+ #
Ethernet OMSN/ 1696 MS/
1850 TSS 9160 Server
2.3 - 2.7 GHz 1850 TSS 1626 LM
3.3 - 3.8 GHz Optical Packet
Controller Home Agent (S-CSCF) (MGCF)
WDM not required
for Fixed/ IP
xDSL Modem Nomadic
Ethernet Ethernet
7710/7750 SR
7302 ISAM

IP/MPLS Service- SBC
(P-CSCF) 75x0 Media
Service-Aware Aware
Ethernet Aggregation Aggregation
and Routing and Routing
7450 7450 (AAA)
7250 I
9116 WiMAX
Base Station
(Beamforming/MIMO) Firewall Internet/ISP

A L C AT E L > 3
The Alcatel WiMAX Solution – An End-to-End IP Architecture

2.3.2 NGN capabilities supporting QoS for VoIP 2.3.3 Data-Access Fundamentals
One of the key strengths of this architecture is the ability Another advantage of the Alcatel WiMAX architecture
to provide end users with always-on mobile broadband is that it is flexible enough to provide for operators with
IP services. This enables anywhere, anytime continuous less stringent requirements. These include:
Internet service, with sufficient QoS to support real-time > operators that wish, as a first step, to offer WiMAX as
applications such as VoIP, regardless of terrestrial a fixed high-speed Internet solution with no foreseen
displacement. Moreover, where regulatory rules impose, need to bring operator-charged services, such as VoIP
reduced mobility or fixed service can be provided using or other multimedia applications.
the same architecture, too. > wholesalers that intend to split the radio-access net-
The WiMAX access network can also be stand-alone, work among customer ISPs. In this case, the radio and
or can be deployed to complement an existing access network infrastructure are shared and managed by the
infrastructure — be it fixed, mobile, wired or radio based. wholesaler, but subscriber administration/management
> In the stand-alone case, mobility under the WiMAX and service/application management remain the ISP’s
coverage provides continuous service access to end responsibility.
users thanks to WiMAX’s mobile IP features.
> In the case of being associated with other access
networks, WiMAX permits the operator to provide
access to end users irrespective of access technologies
due to the common authentication, authorization and
accounting (AAA) Alcatel platform.

Figure 2 - End-to-End NGN/IMS – WiMAX Architecture

OSP 8690 5350 IAS 5350 IAS 8610 PPS

Hybrid (F/M/IP) applications for Presence Server, Instant Messaging Voice Services, Online Charging
consumers and enterprises, XDMS Conf. Advanced call (MMpR)
payment, etc. (MRF) Charging … Push to share. Push to X …


8965 C35 1430 GUP

Offline Charging Provisioning
1430 IM-HSS
5350 SCE
5020 CSC/IFS 5020 MGC/WCS


Wireless HA 75XX MG PSTN
Access Controller 7720 ABN

4 < A L C AT E L
The Alcatel WiMAX Solution – An End-to-End IP Architecture

3.1.2 Backhauling using Carrier Ethernet platforms

3 Key Benefits of the Alcatel Carrier Ethernet platforms guarantee high availability
End-to-End Architecture and resiliency for WiMAX backhauling. Optical packet transport

When optical fiber is available, multiservice provisioning
platforms (MSPPs), such as the Alcatel optical multiservice
WiMAX operators naturally have diverse needs for
nodes (OMSNs) can be used to backhaul WiMAX traffic.
backhaul based on:
MSPP is an optical platform that supports the efficient
> existing assets that might be leveraged for backhaul
aggregation, mapping and transport of multiple data
> traffic capacity requirements
services over SONET/SDH. The MSPP network can easily
> service types they aim to provide
and efficiently handle WiMAX traffic using standard
> geographic considerations
mechanisms, such as GFP/VCAT/LCAS and pseudo-wire
simply by plugging in the appropriate boards with
Generally, WiMAX operators want flexible, future-proof
Ethernet interfaces.
(capacity-expandable), data-optimized solutions capable
MSPP benefits operators by:
of managing advanced services. As a leader in a number
> allowing reuse of the existing SONET/SDH infrastruc-
of key transport technologies — wireless transport,
ture to aggregate Ethernet traffic together with ATM
broadband access, optical networks, multiservice WAN,
and TDM;
Ethernet aggregation and edge routing — Alcatel has the
> enabling the optimization of optical bandwidth for data
means to deliver optimized solutions for carrier-grade
services, without jeopardizing the remaining TDM
transport of bandwidth-intensive WiMAX data services
traffic transported natively;
from the base station to the WAC over any medium: micro-
> guaranteeing the highest availability for all services
wave, copper or fiber. In addition, Alcatel brings expertise
by implementing resilient mechanisms based on either
in network design and implementation required to weave
SONET/SDH protection mechanisms or resilient
these technologies together in the same network.
packet ring;
> complementing the benefits of Ethernet with bandwidth
3.1.1 Backhauling using Microwave
scalability and resource optimization along with the
Compared to leased lines, microwave technology enables
operational, administrative and maintenance capabilities
a high degree of flexibility, terrain independence, high
of the TDM network.
capillarity, fast rollout, easy capacity growth and cost
effectiveness. Today’s microwave solutions are based
If packet traffic is predominant in the backhaul network
on PDH/SDH technologies and can offer mixed traffic
(for instance, in greenfield deployments), operators
E1 and Ethernet over the same link. Nevertheless, the
prefer a solution capable of scaling to a full packet
two traffic types are transported as separate streams,
environment. To achieve this objective, the solution
so they don’t exploit the bandwidth in an optimized way.
requires new types of multiservice optical platforms,
Even so, as data traffic is becoming predominant,
microwave radio is evolving to optimize packet transport.
In this respect, native traffic handling and packet aggrega-
tion are key capabilities for better exploiting the scarce Figure 3 - WiMAX Backhauling Using Microwave
resource of over-the-air bandwidth. They allow mixing
over single stream legacy TDM E1s (encapsulated in
Metro Network
packets, a.k.a. “pseudo-wire”), as well as meet IP traffic WiMAX
with differentiated QoS requirements. Furthermore,
adaptive modulation greatly improves bandwidth capacity,
creating an additional variable band comprising two- Backhauling
thirds of the total bandwidth.
Alcatel’s packet microwave capability is based on Access
the Alcatel 9500 MSS platform. The solution provides: Controller
> Superior scalability for low- and medium-density areas
> Low OPEX Microwave
> Fast deployment

A L C AT E L > 5
The Alcatel WiMAX Solution – An End-to-End IP Architecture

which can support a mix of TDM and packets with full 3.1.3 Backhauling using DSL
packet scalability. With more than 150 million subscribers worldwide, Digital
The Alcatel 1850 Transport Service Switch (TSS) Subscriber Line (DSL) is the most widely deployed
meets this challenge. By using a universal matrix, it is broadband access technology. Mass-market deployment
capable of switching any mix of packets or circuits in has driven the cost down, making DSL one of the most
their native format and transporting them in a connection cost-effective technologies for residential and business
oriented model to preserve the robustness of the service delivery. To reduce their backhaul expenditures,
transport infrastructure. It also maintains the transport operators with the relevant assets are seriously
infrastructure’s inherent reliability, availability and considering the transport of WiMAX traffic over DSL.
manageability. During the past several years, new flavors of DSL,
such as ADSL2plus, E-SHDSL (Enhanced SHDSL) and Service-aware aggregation and routing VDSL2 with native packet transmission capability have
MPLS technology is another option for the WiMAX been developed to cover a broader range of applications
backhaul network. In fact, most operators have selected by increasing the attainable bit rate, as well as the reach
MPLS for their converged backbone networks. By over a single copper pair. Bonding techniques have
extending MPLS into their backhaul network, operators further increased the bandwidth or reach by aggregating
can manage a common protocol end-to-end. traffic on multiple copper lines. In this respect, DSL can
For operators, MPLS is also appealing because of cover symmetrical or asymmetrical traffic profiles from a
its relationship with IP and routed networks. MPLS few kb/s to several tens of Mb/s. It is also well-suited for
networks inherit IP’s automation of tasks, such as auto- urban and dense urban areas where base stations are
discovery of network elements and packet forwarding located up to 5 km from a central office.
decisions. For its part, MPLS enhances IP with carrier- This backhaul scheme is likely to be of particular
scale tools for QoS, traffic engineering, troubleshooting interest to integrated operators offering both fixed
(OAM) and sub-50 millisecond restoration. and mobile services who have a DSLAM infrastructure
Alcatel’s IP/MPLS service router portfolio includes the already. Leased-line substitution can already offer
Alcatel 7750 and 7710 Service Routers, the Alcatel 7450 substantial savings depending on the national leased line
Ethernet Services Switch and the Alcatel 5620 Service and LLU (Local Loop Unbundling) pricing conditions. It
Aware Manager. For WiMAX backhaul, Ethernet traffic can also enable a future converged fixed-mobile service
can be aggregated using MPLS and transported between offering.
radios and controllers over fiber or microwave facilities. The Alcatel 7302 Intelligent Services Access Manage
In the first instance, Ethernet traffic is encapsulated (ISAM) is the industry’s first IP-based access platform
using pseudo-wires for point-to-point transport as a capable of delivering 100 percent triple-play services.
virtual leased line. By using DSL, operators can prepare for fixed-mobile
MPLS standards also define Virtual Private LAN convergence while significantly reducing transport costs.
Service (VPLS). VPLS emulates an Ethernet LAN across
the wide area using MPLS to overcome challenges with Figure 4 - WiMAX Backhauling Using DSL
native Ethernet’s stability and control. Moreover, with
VPLS, any-to-any transport services are supported as 7302 ISAM Cabinet MDU/OSP
required by future flat architectures in which controllers
are eliminated and radios communicate with other radios, CO 3.0 km
as well as with application-specific gateways.
Finally, a common aggregation network can be used 1.2 km
for WiMAX, together with mobile traffic (2G/3G) and/or
converged triple-play services. The inherent multiservice FE
capabilities of MPLS combined with Alcatel’s service- FTTN 0.8 km
aware portfolio supports differentiated QoS packet-based <0.5 km Modem
services for both residential and enterprise, and pseudo- FTTB/C
wire transport for both legacy TDM and ATM traffic flows. FE

6 < A L C AT E L
The Alcatel WiMAX Solution – An End-to-End IP Architecture

3.2 SECURE AUTHENTICATION, This solution is particularly beneficial for rationalizing

AUTHORIZATION AND ACCOUNTING (AAA) the mobile operator’s customer care and infrastructure.
The Alcatel WiMAX solution supports the AAA framework Furthermore, the WAC generates CDRs (Charging
defined by the WiMAX Forum network group. It relies on Data Records) sent to the AAA server for further
well-established IETF specifications that provide methods processing by a billing server.
and procedures for authentication (device and user),
authorization (user profiles) and accounting (information Figure 6 - 1430 HSS (Combined AAA/HSS Configuration)
for accounting).
Authentication and authorization are based on EAP
(Extensible Authentication Protocol). Between the base
station (BS) and the WAC, the EAP runs over the PKMv2
protocol and, between the WAC and the AAA server, AAA
it runs over RADIUS.

Figure 5 - WiMAX Secure Authentication and Authorization

WiMAX Access
Wireless Access
Fixed Operator
(standalone AAA
configuration) 3.3 END-TO-END MANAGEABLE
1430 HSS
EAP method (e.g. TLS, TTLS, SIM etc.) The Alcatel WiMAX radio access network is designed to
EAP provide QoS, which is manageable at the subscriber level.
PKM RADIUS/Diameter The required QoS can be granted either dynamically or
permanently in order to fulfill the required Service Level
Agreement (SLA).
The WiMAX solution proposes the support of various The QoS initiated by the network (by means of a
methods for device and user authentication. These methods session border node) for SIP-based services — especially
include certificate-based authentication, SIM-based voice — takes into account the WiMAX end-user terminal
authentication and login/password-based authentication. in order to guarantee a true end-to-end QoS. The QoS is
All of these methods are incorporated in the Alcatel AAA also propagated on the transport network, as the building
server. In addition, the Alcatel AAA server is deployable blocks of the end-to-end Alcatel WiMAX solution are
as a stand-alone server or as part of the Alcatel HLR/HSS. capable of recognizing different types of traffic.

Figure 7 - WiMAX Traffic Classification

DSCP/802.1p Tunnel
tagging in UL (PEF) per
Mobile User Tunnel SBC
Terminals 1 Video VoIP HSI
HSI Video BS Wireless
Access VoIP
VoIP Video
User Video 77XO SR
Video WiMAX Base Station

DSCP/802.1p DSCP/802.1p
tagging (DL/UL) tagging in DL

A L C AT E L > 7
The Alcatel WiMAX Solution – An End-to-End IP Architecture

4 The Value of Alcatel

WiMAX-Based Networks
The Alcatel WiMAX solution is designed to fulfill the
needs of every potential service provider and network
operator seeking to deploy broadband wireless services,
be they fixed, nomadic, portable or mobile, or any
combination thereof. It enables them to:
> Complement the coverage of an existing access
infrastructure with a common access control and
authentication in large part due to the to the Alcatel
1430 HSS. In conjunction with IMS HSS for fixed and
mobile operators, the Alcatel 1430 HSS provides the
critical AAA capability.
> Protect the existing investment in network infra-
structure, thanks to a fully IP-based architecture.
Existing and planned Layer 2 and Layer 3 networks
can easily provide the necessary terrestrial means for
interconnecting the WiMAX access network, reducing
deployment and operational costs. In addition,
deployed 2G/3G radio sites are capable of hosting
WiMAX base stations.
> Enter into the market as a greenfield operator with
significantly reduced investment risks, due to a future-
proof IP architecture, as well as compliance with
worldwide standards (e.g., IETF, WiMAX Forum,
3GPP). This compliance also future proofs the initial
investment against the implementation of new features
and services, thus extending applications, increasing
capacity and coverage (scalability), and even enhancing
the network architecture (NGN/IMS).
> Seamlessly bundle broadband wireless services with
existing services to generate new revenue with, for
example, DSL fixed services seamlessly relayed with
WiMAX, when on the move.

8 < A L C AT E L
Alcatel, the Alcatel logo and Evolium are registered trademarks of Alcatel.
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Alcatel assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the
information presented, which is subject to change without notice.
© 10 2006 Alcatel. All rights reserved. 3CL 00469 1125 TQZZA Ed.01 21013