Solution for MNOs and MVNOs
Our products run on our software platform, called the Definition Networks Gateway, or simply the DN-GW. DN-GW is fully virtualized, standards-compliant and scalable to extreme capacities and performance. It is a carrier-grade platform designed for high service availability.
DN-GW lowers the overall IoT solution cost, reduces the impact of IoT on the RAN, provides control plane access for small data transmissions such as NIDD (Non-IP Data Delivery) and facilitates monetizing IoT by securely exposing services and capabilities of the 3GPP network that promote new use cases and thereby increases the TAM.
DN-GW contains SCEF (Service Capability Exposure Function), defined by 3GPP in Release 13. DN-GW includes additional embedded functions, so not only can the MNO or MVNO support NIDD and the SCEF use cases described by 3GPP, but DN-GW provides additional benefits, such as, solutions to problems not fully addressed by 3GPP. Plus, by including its optional Subscriber Data Management (e.g., the HSS), DN-GW can be used as a complete IoT solution by an Operator needing a solution for visited network deployments.
To enable massive IoT expansion, operators will need to embrace the Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technologies, such as, NB-IoT that supports LTE Cat-M1/M2. IoT devices require small data transfers, and 3GPP has determined that delivery via the control plane is much preferred over using the data plane.
As illustrated above, there are multiple options for small data transfers over the control plane. SMS has existed for a long time. Using MTC-IWF was introduced by 3GPP in Release 11, but has not been popular. It uses a T5-interface with the control plane (CP) messaging, which 3GPP has not yet defined and will not define until after Release 13.
In Release 13, 3GPP has proposed that SCEF be used for NIDD, as the preferred mechanism for small amounts of data to be transferred between IoT devices and Application Servers. 3GPP has made NIDD a requirement for small data transfers for technologies like NB-IoT.
Besides support for NIDD, there are several other changes in the 3GPP network. Below, we show part of the MTC network architecture proposed by 3GPP for Release 13, with some areas emphasized by us in the illustration.
Several problems remain unsolved by this MTC architecture for Release 13:
- Slow roll-out of new services. The many changes to the network architecture result in a challenge to quickly roll-out a new service that depends on the new architecture.
- Data-plane congestion. While most IoT devices will require just small amounts of data transfers, Firmware Over The Air (FOTA) downloads can be very problematic. For example, connected cars require updates that are hundreds of MBs per update and typically need to be downloaded while the cars have the ignition on. This leads to RAN data-plane congestion, because cars frequently have common patterns of when and where the ignition is on due to common commuting practices.
- Control-plane congestion. Triggers may be sent to IoT devices over the Operator Core Network; however, 3GPP does not offer mechanisms to prevent these triggers from causing control-plane congestion. Signaling requires significant control-plane resources in the MME and RAN, even when the amount of data in the subsequent data session is small.
Our DN-GW supports NIDD for NB-IoT and the LPWA technologies, solves the above problems, supports the SCEF use cases described by 3GPP, and has embedded functions that allow additional types of services to be deployed. DN-GW is designed to meet the requirements being defined for 5G, but can be deployed in the 3GPP Release 13 architecture, as well as, in earlier 3GPP architectures.
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