Today, I spent the day at Tellabs PoC (Proof of Concept) showcasing their DWDM and Mobile Backhaul portfolio. Tellabs had put up an impressive collection of equipment showing an array of portfolio including 7100 Nano, 7300 Carrier Ethernet portfolio and 8600 series for Mobile backhaul. I was particularly interested to see their backhaul equipment in action. Tellabs is one of those that advocate IP/MPLS for Mobile backhaul. They proudly boast of making IP/MPLS quite easy to work with for backhaul people. As a technology, I do consider MPLS to be quite complex for transport people to handle in backhaul. Transport people would need something easy to work with, without dealing with the complexities of IP routing, addressing and signaling protocols. I had written an earlier post that the TCO of MPLS is quite high compared to MPLS-TP. The post is here
However Tellabs has come up with some tools to handle the complexities of IP RAN backhaul.
The tool that makes MPLS easy to work with, is the NMS of Tellabs called INM (Intelligent Network Manager). I have seen a couple of other vendors doing MPLS for LTE backhaul but they do it with CLI scripts, which make the job of configuring and provisioning quite cumbersome. INM does everything including configuring, provisioning, troubleshooting and reporting from central place with easy to use graphical interface. There is a cell site wizard that automates cell site provisioning and pseudowires connections. Additionally, impressively there is an intelligent troubleshooting wizard that can be called upon to suggest solutions if one comes across issues while configuring and provisioning of services.
Indeed Tellabs has made quite an investment in their NMS tool to make it user friendly for its users. The comparison with MPLS-TP will not be fair here since MPLS-TP is designed to be totally NMS driven from the beginning minus the complexities of control plane. However the INM tool does make the job of dealing with IP routing and control plane quite easier for the people that come from transport background.