Quortus, the UK company transforming core network functionality into edge-based applications, has announced that it has added LTE support to its flagship SoftCore software mobile core product, which already supports 3G and GSM.
SoftCore allows voice and data requests to be handled locally where possible saving on backhaul costs and use of the traditional core all the while improving user experience. It can be installed on macro cells, small cells and on commodity hardware in either the traditional core or the cloud.
SoftCore takes core network functionality and distils it in to a software application. Whereas operators previously looking to augment their core networks would have to use expensive proprietary hardware they can now opt to load Quortus’ technology on to low-cost commodity hardware at a fraction of the cost without negatively impacting performance.
This is of particular use to Tier 2 operators for whom core network upgrades can be almost prohibitively expensive. This solution also enables the possibility of a hosted core model where smaller operators and MVNOs can have their core hosted by a third party.
SoftCore can be installed on or at small cell sites in a variety of settings to great effect. As multi-mode metrocell deployments grow the strain on the mobile core will be greater than ever due to the increased frequency of cell handover, traffic signalling and circuit switch fall back requests as well as sheer data volumes.
SoftCore can frequently manage these services at the edge and the technology also allows key local data services, such as Google Maps, to be cached and accessed locally thereby reducing the data flowing back to the core over expensive backhaul. Furthermore, it allows LTE, 3G and 2G services to operate simultaneously without the need for virtual machines.
‘With LTE deployments gathering pace, data volumes are set to ramp up and place significant strain on the mobile network core,’ said Andy Odgers, CEO Quortus. ‘The answer lies in creating an altogether smarter network with distributed core intelligence rather than centralised in the traditional core. SoftCore solves this problem by putting full core functionality in a compact software application that allows core network deployments to be done anywhere at a fraction of the cost.’
SoftCore is a small footprint, flexible and fully integrated core network, and now supports LTE’s Evolved Packet Core in addition to GSM/3G. This includes the Mobility Management Entity (for eNodeB mobility control), the Home Subscriber Server (for local user management) and the (Packet Gateway (through which IP packet data is placed directly on to the LAN/WAN). It is radio-agnostic technology, supporting various eNodeBs from a wide variety of vendors over standard interfaces.