Integrating off-the-shelf 3GPP access networks in the OpenEPC software toolkit: Realizing cost-efficient and complete small-scale operator testbeds
With the gradual deployment of LTE in addition to the other 2G and 3G access networks standardized by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) together with the adoption of the 3GPP Evolved Packet Core (EPC) as the all-IP core network architecture, a new level of communication is achieved in the operator wireless environment. The increased network capacity enables a higher number of devices to be connected and to communicate with extended data rates, bringing new opportunities to develop wireless tailored services and to evolve the network functional features like QoS, charging, mobility, security, management and monitoring. This paper describes the Fraunhofer FOKUS OpenEPC testbed extension related to the integration of off-the-shelf cost efficient 3GPP access networks addressing especially the 2G technologies. Through the functionality here presented, the OpenEPC testbed users are able to connect and to exchange data over a 3GPP access, enabling accurate measurem ents and evaluation of their novel features similar to the real deployed networks, relying on the OpenEPC core network functionality for application delivery support and subscriber, mobility and resources management. The initiative of integrating 3GPP access networks in OpenEPC provides to both the academic and industry researchers the means to rapidly and cost-efficient realize complete small-scale operator networks systems and application support testbeds.