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Why Casa Systems

Today’s mobile Internet continues to be shaped by highly unpredictable and explosive traffic growth. According to Cisco’s 2014 Visual Network Index report, in a given hour across the globe, the following activity will occur:

  • 1.2 million mobile apps downloaded
  • 2,880 hours of YouTube videos uploaded
  • 685 million SMS messages sent
  • 128 million Google searches
  • 9 million tweets

As mobile and cloud convergence moves into the mainstream, more on-demand video streaming and IMS/VoLTE usage is occurring. These services require an evolution of the “best effort” Internet to satisfy the stringent user quality expectations. In parallel, the next Web2.0 transition will be fueled by the emergence of trillions of inter-connected mobile endpoints. These endpoints make up the Internet of Everything (IoE) and they will overtake device subscriptions as the major catalyst of future traffic growth. In fact, Qualcomm predicted that mobile networks will need to provide 1000x more capacity by the early 2020’s to handle this exponential growth in their “Qualcomm’s 5G Vision” paper published in November 2014 paper.

This dramatic shift in the traffic mix is inspiring mobile operators to rethink the design of their networks.  In most mobile networks today, video tonnage dominates over two-thirds of downlink traffic volume. At the same time, steadily increasing volumes of VoLTE signaling traffic are exacerbating the problem by stressing network elements in the LTE/EPC core and IMS domains. 

In this environment, business-as-usual is no longer good enough, as mobile operators cannot afford to continue investing in incremental network capacity to keep ahead of the dynamic traffic growth.  There are also spectral limits to the amount of additional bandwidth that can be harnessed from today’s macro-cellular radios. To manage the unprecedented traffic growth, mobile operators must find alternative ways to reduce the expenditure per-bit of data transported.

While building out new macro-radio sites or splitting existing cells will meet a portion of incremental capacity planning needs, these solutions require costly site leases and incremental spending in such areas as backhaul transport, power, space and cooling. 

Ultimately the only way to scale capacity enough to meet the burgeoning traffic demand is to “densify” the network with smaller, distributed, intelligent small cells. Through coordination of hetnet radios, mobile operators are able to offload difficult to monetize bulk video while harnessing licensed spectrum to apply high-touch QoS treatments to profitable applications like enterprise telephony services.

To enable mobile operators to more cost effectively manage the data deluge, Casa Systems is introducing a new type of distributed edge, small cell solution. Casa Systems MobileEdge leverages the company’s industry leading fixed broadband experience to address a variety of fixed and mobile quad-play converged solutions. Casa’s MobileEdge enables mobile operators to densify their macro networks by cost effectively addressing coverage and voice quality gaps in indoor residential, enterprise, and public hotspots or metrocells.  Based on an elastic, just-in-time software architecture, the solution easily adjusts to accommodate various network designs. The options range from a centralized high density model to a more regionalized RAN edge topology that leverages 3GPP’s Selective IP Traffic Offload (SIPTO) techniques to locally offload small cell traffic at the edge while shielding the mobile core and avoiding the need for incremental investment in backhaul transport capacity.  

Casa Systems’ MobileEdge is powered by Casa MobileOS, an orchestrated software architecture, that enables mobile operators to unlock the full potential of their mobile core assets.  In contrast to traditional appliance models, there is no stranded capacity.   Built-in software tasks make efficient use of all available memory and compute resources to automatically stretch or contract services on a linear pay-as-you-grow basis without operator intervention.

The software architecture includes task level transparency and multi-tenancy to allow on-demand service establishment at any time and in any available location. The software design also includes an open, programmatic framework with JSON/REST northbound API’s to simplify service integration with third party content ecosystems.

Casa’s MobileEdge has the capacity to manage Casa MobileOS services running either on purpose built hardware or as multi-tenant Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) components on general-purpose COTS servers. Compute intensive functions can leverage a dedicated hardware platform while other services can be compartmentalized and run as multi-tenant VM’s in a cloud environment. 

With no end in sight for today’s surging traffic volumes, mobile networks need to cost effectively scale by offloading more traffic at the edge of the network.  Based on a flexible and extensible software framework, Casa’s MobileEdge provides the robust performance needed to meet the needs of the most challenging global networks and the versatility to meet the needs of regional operators.   All while being able to fit well within the managed service cloud topologies of the future.

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