Path signalling in a wireless back-haul network integrating unidirectional broadcast technologies
The black-haul infrastructures of today's wireless operators must support the triple-play services demanded by the market or regulatory bodies. To cope with increasing capacity demand, in our previous work, we have developed a cost-effective heterogeneous layer 2.5 wireless back-haul (WiBACK) architecture, which leverages the native multicast capabilities of broadcast technologies such as DVB to off-load high-bandwidth broadcast content delivery. Furthermore, our architecture provides support for unidirectional technologies on the data and the control plane. This adopts a centralized coordinator approach, in which coordinator nodes install so-called management and data pipes. No routing state is kept at plain WiBACK nodes, which merely store QoS-aware pipe forwarding state. Consequently, the architecture requires a reliable protocol to push resource allocation and pipe forwarding state into the network, considering possibly unidirectional connectivity. Such a protocol, whose task is related to MPLS label distribution, is essential during the initial forming of WiBACK topologies and during regular network operations to reliably manage the data pipes. In this paper, we present a novel approach to extend our IEEE 802.21-inspired WiBACK TransportService and, based upon this, the design of an RSVP-TE-style pipe signalling protocol using nested hop-by-hop request/response MIH transactions that supports signalling over unidirectional technologies. A thorough evaluation and successful testbed deployments show that this protocol reliably signals pipe state even under high loss conditions.