Full service broadband

Full service broadband

A traditional fixed broadband network provides its services to a location/port. Multiple devices may connect to these services through the residential LAN and a common residential gateway. However, services are typically not individualized for these devices or the users using them. A mobile broadband network, on the other hand, typically deliver services to individual devices and users, providing them access to the subscribed services wherever they are.

In a Full Service Broadband network, these two service paradigms are combined, providing users with services anywhere and from any device. Users can authenticate themselves and reach all their services from any device. A device can either connect through a mobile access or a fixed access, enabling a transparent experience, i.e. the same or very similar. Devices connected to the residential LAN are reachable also from devices on the move, enabling transparent access to e.g. stored media (figure below). All these features needs to be enabled in ways that are simple enough for the average user, available more or less plug-and-play.

"Full Service Broadband Architecture"

A network architecture is required that can enable these new capabilities in a way that is cost efficient for operators and affordable and simple enough for the users. Such architecture has the following characteristics:
* Based on Ethernet transport network, capable of co-housing multiple access networks/technologies and services.
* Combining multiple access technologies, including fixed access (e.g. GPON and VDSL2) and mobile access technologies (e.g. 3G High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) and 3GPP Long Term Evolution).
* Provides capabilities to manage the heterogeneity between access technologies, e.g. for device/user authentication and multi-access mobility.
* A consistent UNI towards devices, facilitating interoperability and economies-of-scale for device manufacturers.
* Access-independent service enablers for e.g. end-to-end user reachability (tying a user to a device) and capability negotiation. The IP Multimedia Subsystem is the key component for this.
* LAN technologies such as DLNA/UPNP are extended to remote operation, yet with minimal need for technical know-how, e.g. dynamic DNS.

To reach the desired economies-of-scale and interoperability, such an architecture must be based on open protocols. IETF protocols such as Mobile IP, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and RADIUS/Diameter are essential components along with e.g. IMS, TISPAN RACS and 3GPP System Architecture Evolution (SAE).

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.