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Direct Tunnel clears the way for cost savings

10 февраля 2009

Mobile operators can benefit from the “flat” world of LTE/SAE by simplifying their data networks – over 45 Nokia Siemens Networks customers are leading the way

Nokia Siemens Networks has pioneered Direct Tunnel, a cost-efficient technology that allows mobile operators to reduce costs while taking the first step to the flat-architecture of Long Term Evolution/System Architecture Evolution (LTE/SAE). After driving the development of the technology from the very beginning, Nokia Siemens Networks has already passed a number of Direct Tunnel milestones.


Direct Tunnel is an enhanced functionality in 3G networks that enables operators to simplify their mobile packet data networks. Direct Tunnel allows user data traffic to be routed directly from the radio access network to the core network’s Internet gateway node, bypassing the control node (the Serving GPRS Service Node, the SGSN) through which data traffic is routed in existing networks.


By taking the more optimized route through the network, Direct Tunnel brings lower OPEX costs as fewer data links are needed, and improves transmission efficiency. This simpler connectivity architecture also makes scaling with growing traffic much easier as fewer nodes need to be serviced. Furthermore, Nokia Siemens Networks’ Direct Tunnel is key to operators’ network evolution as the first step toward the “flat architecture” that will be used in the next generation of mobile networks, as well as an integral part of the Nokia Siemens Networks’ Internet HSPA (I-HSPA) innovation that enables a fully flat architecture today.


This enhanced network technology originated as a Nokia Siemens Networks invention, which the company later contributed to 3GPP standardization for the benefit of the entire industry. Its first implementation was demonstrated in the autumn of 2006, and its first customer trial was carried out in February 2007.


Nokia Siemens Networks announced the world’s first commercial deal for Direct Tunnel in 2007, with TerreStar in the US. Since then, the company has won Direct Tunnel deals* with over 45 customers in Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific. Of these deployments, more than 15 are in live use already, bringing these networks closer to the All-IP world of LTE/SAE.


“Direct Tunnel is an innovative and practical way for operators to simplify their networks, and simplicity is of essence when networks need to grow with traffic," said Petri Pöyhönen, Head of Converged Internet Connectivity, Nokia Siemens Networks. ”And it’s a step that gives our customers a head start on the road to LTE.” 

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