In 2010, Orion partnered with Fraunhofer FOKUS University and worked on the Next Generation Mobile Network (NGMN) software platform that would eventually be used as playground by academic and industrial researchers to gain practical experience with EPC. As a result of this cooperation, we signed a client who sought to develop a GPRS core solution based on this existing platform.

The Global System for Mobile Communications-Railway (GSM-R) is an international wireless communications standard for railway communication and applications. It provides a reliable, secure communication between critical operational rail personnel, enabling data and voice transmission at high speed.

The customer is one of the key figures on the GSM-R market. They provide a wide range of end-to-end GSM-R solutions.

Challenge

The appearance of the next generation mobile networks fosters mobile communication technologies to evolve accordingly. GSM-R operators must upgrade their environment in a timely manner and evolve with the latest standards. Keeping this in mind, the customer asked us to develop a GSM-R solution using GPRS core nodes. One of the key requirements was to implement a reliable and stable commercial solution that would meet the GSM-R specifications.

Solution

Using the prototype, the team designed SGSN and GGSN nodes that would provide a reliable career grade solution, compliant with the strict GSM-R requirements for high availability, redundancy, quality, data rate and packet loss. We also developed a set of protocols and signaling procedures for network interfaces that would satisfy the 3GPP specifications and the customer needs.

Over a period of 5 years, our engineers implemented the following major functions:

  • GPRS Core compliance with 3GPP V11
  • High Availability and Local/Geo redundancy
  • Applications Self-Healing
  • Overload protection
  • OAM for GPRS Core nodes management

Results

We built a complete, flexible GPRS packet core solution. The customer then had an added advantage of using the solution as a redundant framework with the high-availability support, which means that the platform easily be extended with new software components, features and services. Due to the modular programming technique that our experts used to develop protocols and features, the new functionality can be repurposed to create other new components in the future evolution.

The extended solution has been successfully deployed and installed in the customer’s live GSM-R network for several mobile operators. Currently, our engineers continue working on the project, extending the functionality of the existing solutions and carrying out a transition from GSM-R to LTE.

Technologies:

Backend:

  • C/C++
  • Python
  • Java
  • Hibernate
  • OpenSAF
  • JBoss
  • EJB
  • SQL

Database:

  • Redis

OS:

  • Linux

Other:

  • GPRS related protocols, OSPF, L2TP, PPP, Radius
Related Work
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