Method of Procedure for adding IP Pools to the Starent PDSN Wireless

We recently had an opportunity to add an IP Pool to the Starent 16000 PDSN in our Nortel CDMA network. It is standard procedure that any network activity that has the potential to impact service must be performed during a low traffic period, (aka “the maintenance window”) and must be accompanied by a written method of Procedure (“MOP”.) Writing a MOP is not a very exciting activity, and in fact, takes a significant effort to get right. However, on the few occasions when the procedure went sideways, a well-written MOP was handy for resolving the issue, and in the worst cases, keeping us out of trouble in the post-mortem that followed.

Procedures that are frequently done benefit from a MOP by serving as a guideline for new engineers. Infrequently done procedures benefit by having a detailed reminder of what to, and not, do.

Read on for those details. Continue reading “Method of Procedure for adding IP Pools to the Starent PDSN Wireless”

PDSN packet inspection

Today Nortel presented their solution for monitoring and billing high bandwidth users of the wireless broadband network.  Software running directly in the Starent PDSN  basically uses deep packet inspection to implement traffic shaping.  The product is called Enhanced Charging Services (ECS) and it claims to provide integrated content-based billing.  The solution as presently sold might not truly be called “deep” packet inspection.  It only looks as deeply as layer 4, TCP and UDP packets.
Continue reading “PDSN packet inspection”

Starent 16000 PDSN MOP – Adding IP Pools


The purpose of this Method Of Procedure (MOP) is to add ranges of IP Addresses, called “pools”, to the Starent 16000 PDSN. An IP address from an IP pool is assigned to a subscriber by the PDSN when a data session is initiated.


Begin this procedure by creating a backup of the PDSN configuration file. Use the copy command to create a new configuration file.

[local]pdsn1# copy /flash/system.cfg /flash/system.backupfile.cfg <CR>

The file called system.backupfile.cfg is created as a contingency in the event a problem occurs during execution of this method.
Continue reading “Starent 16000 PDSN MOP – Adding IP Pools”

Starent 16000 PDSN Troubleshooting

I’ve been working for a couple months now to create the software infrastructure for allocating wireless data network resources based upon the product purchased by the subscriber. This means granting them access to the purchased resources, and denying access to other resources. This is one of the functions of the PDSN, in cooperation with the AAA server.
I post trouble reports and questions as they arise to the TeleTips Message Board for the Starent PDSN. Here is a step-by-step procedure for testing on the PDSN. Continue reading “Starent 16000 PDSN Troubleshooting”

Starent PDSN

We continue working to deploy new Wireless Data plans. This week we’ve stumbled on an issue in the edge router. It does not appear to be properly detecting the OSPF routes. This problem manifests itself when the 4th octet of the IP address assigned by the PDSN to a handset exceeds “128”. Whenever a higher number gets assigned all data calls fail. Doing a stare and compare with other IP address ranges in the router shows the difference. But so far the cause cannot be explained.

Nortel has proposed flushing the OSPF cache on the PDSN with this command:

clear ip ospf process

After the command has been entered, we’ll monitor use of the use of the erring address space to see if data sessions having an IP Address above .128 succeed.