How does Mobile Broadband work?

Today’s web is full of articles and discussion about Mobile Broadband. We like to read Om Malik, whose crew of subject matter experts frequently add value on the topic. But what exactly is Mobile Broadband? How do wireless operators provide it? What makes it fast? Or slow? We’ve implemented stat-of-the-art 3G Mobile Broadband for a tier 3 regional CDMA operator in the US, and we’ll be providing insight into how this fiendishly complicated technology works, and what, if anything, you might do to improve your experience. Continue reading “How does Mobile Broadband work?”

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.
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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.
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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.