Deploying Wireless Data

For the last few days I’ve been working on defining new data products in a CDMA network. This is my first foray into wireless data so most of the actions are completely foreign. There seems to be no comprehensive procedural guide. Our vendor has Subject Matter Experts (SME) for each of the various components. But their expertise is defined by the platform for which the are responsible, and no one has been able to provide a cogent over view of the overall process for defining and implementing these product in the network. I plan to take a few posts to try creating a comprehensive guide.

First let’s cover the systems and hardware that’s involved. I’ll emphasize those that must be manipulated as part of the implementation process. We’ll start from the handset and work in towards the cellular switch and then outward towards the service application.

  • Handset. Must be capable of interacting with the service application.
  • The radio network, aka “Base transceiver Sub-system” (BTS.) Not generally manipulated on a per-product basis, mentioned here only for completeness. We’ll focus on a 1xRTT network for now.
  • The Packet Data Serving Node (PDSN.) Basically a router on steroids.  We have a message board on the Starent 16000 PDSN.
  • The Authentication Authorization and Accounting server (AAA.) IT folks will recognize this as a RADIUS server.
  • Core or Edge router, depending on your perspective. Fire-walled access to the Internet.
  • Mobile Telephone Exchange (MTX.) This is the switch, which includes the HLR.
  • Service Application. This can be the MMS-C, WAP Gateway, ASP, hosted content, or any of dozens of application servers. Which one depends on the actual data service being deployed.

In this series of posts we’ll detail the roles and configuration requirements of the PDSN, AAA Server and Edge Router. Others will be discussed in support of various examples.