Lucent Technologies and Sun Microsystems Pioneer Carrier-Grade Internet Protocol Platform for Mobility

by Jeffrey Meltzer

Lucent Technologies and Sun Microsystems today announced that they have achieved a major leap in the evolution of Lucent's core mobile switching center to support IP services on an industry-standard, open computing platform.

Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) and Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today announced that they have achieved a major leap in the evolution of Lucent's core mobile switching center to support Internet Protocol (IP) services on an industry-standard, open computing platform. The transition has begun with the Lucent Flexent(TM) Mobility Server, which incorporates Sun's recently-introduced line of Netra Compact PCI (cPCI) servers for intensive IP applications for wireless networks.

Sun and Lucent have been working under a 00 million dollar alliance announced in December 1999 to deliver Lucent's next-generation Flexent IP-based mobile network architecture to mobile operators.

This system incorporates an industry standard computing platform for managing mobility for the wireless packet core and integrates key elements of Sun's Netra ct 400 and 800 servers with specialized Bell Labs-developed software designed to yield ''carrier-grade'' reliability and scalable processing. The Flexent Mobility Server is paired with Lucent's Flexent Wireless Router, a high performance radio network controller designed by Bell Labs for efficient management of third generation (3G) systems based on cdma2000(TM) and Wideband CDMA, the radio technology for Universal Mobile Telecommunications Services (UMTS).

''The mobile Internet in 3G wireless networks requires unsurpassed computational power, along with the reliability we're accustomed to from the public switched telephone network,'' said Joe Coletta, IP offer management director for Lucent's Wireless Networks Group. ''By combining the Internet experience from Sun and Bell Labs' network reliability skills, Lucent is a leader with a highly reliable mobile Internet infrastructure for 3G, with all its associated benefits of cost-effective, industry standard IP technology.''

Sun's Netra ct servers have been optimized to Bell Labs-developed specifications for real-time computing, scalability and ''hot swap'' features. These carrier-grade cPCI server systems are based on the Solaris Operating Environment and Chorus Operating System, helping service providers meet the growing demand for fast-to-market broadband and mobile Internet services.

''Network uptime and reliable Internet access are basic requirements for wireless networks,'' said Pat Deagman, vice president and general manager, Network Service Provider Group at Sun. ''Lucent and Sun both realize the need to deliver high availability equipment to carriers in a quick and cost-effective manner. Sun is very excited that our products are helping Lucent deliver the consistent uptime required for the delivery of third-generation wireless systems.''

As Lucent evolves its flagship mobile switching center to support 3G services, Sun servers and software form the basis of key IP-based applications needed for network control and session processing. These include base station and radio network controllers and the Lucent Softswitch. Flexent networks demonstrate Lucent's leadership in the evolution of the industry's circuit-switched mobile network architecture to one based on highly scaleable and lower-priced, industry-standard computing elements.

''One standard platform, one operating environment, one network management system -- all these lead to uniformity and lower operational costs in hardware, software and maintenance,'' said Lucent's Coletta. ''As operators worry about the cost and reliability of high-speed packet and 3G services, we are providing ample proof that the evolution to IP makes economic sense, and, through our strategic alliance with Sun, we're setting the standard for others to follow.''

Carrier-Grade Servers Enhanced with Bell Labs Know-How

To maximize Flexent system uptime and performance with fault-free switchover, when necessary, to redundant components, Bell Labs developers have relied on the Solaris Operating Environment high-availability extensions, ChorusOS-based common APIs, and Bell Labs' Reliable Cluster Computing (RCC) software. Additionally, the DataBlitz Main-Memory Database, a high-performance database pioneered by Bell Labs, provides the throughput and real-time responsiveness needed for data-intensive 3G applications.

This combination of integrated high-reliability components, the RCC and DataBlitz(TM) performance-enhancing software, is designed to assist the Flexent mobile switching center achieve five nine's (99.999 percent) reliability, ranging from real-time intensive switching applications to IP-intensive computing with full ''hot swap'' support.

This article was originally published on Tuesday Mar 20th 2001
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