in detail

The SODALES project (SOftware-Defined Access using Low-Energy Subsystems) aims to converge Layer-2 Ethernet and wireless (LTE, 60-GHz and beyond) over a unique stat multiplexer over WDM-PON that offers interconnection to fixed and mobile subscribers in a unique, green, simplified, optimized and easy-to-manage access infrastructure.

The SODALES interconnection service integrates a heterogeneous set of different access infrastructures and proposes an innovative layer-1/2 interconnection service that interfaces with the physical substrate for fixed subscribers offering a novel ultra-high bandwidth wavelength-division-multiplexed passive-optical-network (WDM-PON) architecture combined with fixed-radio access, and also offers a standardized interface for long-term evolution (LTE) and beyond mobile users.

Sodales service

SODALES takes advantage of the fact that mobile remote base stations (RBS) require electrical powering in order to incorporate a device called Active Remote Node (ARN) that will perform advanced multiplexing functionalities. This allows advanced statistical multiplexing and very high network optimization, while simplifying network equipment at the customer premises.

SODALES architecture

The rationale behind this service from the business point of view is the following:

  • It has been widely accepted that fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) is the only passive access infrastructure platform (backhaul, mobile- and fixed final-drop) that will be able to support present and future applications;
  • To meet the fast increasing data services, mobile operators need to upgrade their network frequently and operate multiple-standard network, including GSM, WCDMA/TD-SCDMA, however this results in causing operators to have more complex and costly plan for network expansion and upgrading
  • In order to achieve a viable business model, transversal infrastructure sharing is key
  • Mobility is an essential functional application, as is convergence of fixed and mobile services
  • Services are ubiquitous and need to be delivered independently of the physical substrate and final-drop segment
  • Centralized signal processing greatly reduces the number of sites equipment room needed to cover the same areas, which will enable to handle in a more central location the support for many cellular technologies
  • To reduce operational expenditure (OPEX) and capital expenditure (CAPEX), integration of wired and wireless services is essential

Turning to future technical expectations, SODALES is adopting the following hypotheses:

  • WDM-PONs are the high-likely evolutionary next step in deployed FTTH next-generation optical access (NGOA), best able to offer 10 Gb/s and beyond to end-users
  • 60-GHz radio access is emerging as the key alternative technology solution for fixed access in locations where fibre is difficult (economically, logistically, topologically etc.) to deploy as the final-drop segment
  • 4G (LTE) and beyond mobile radio services will require fibre mobile backhaul infrastructure
  • To offer high data-rates in a mobile environment, the size of the coverage cells (femto/pico/micro) need to be small, with the concomitant requirement for higher numbers of remote base stations (RBSs) or active remote nodes (ARNs)
  • ARNs, RBSs and antennas will require remote powering – such that the existence of small active routing elements in remote field locations is not an issue; it even is advantageous, since remote control & management (C&M) functionalities and operations become more practically possible
  • Low power consumption and energy-efficiency at all of the end-user sides, head-end and ARNs/RBSs are essential to keep ICT power consumption low and maintain a minimized carbon footprint.

In addition, the other following requirements are also becoming increasingly critical:

  • Although fibre is the preferred choice when deploying new infrastructure, in brownfield sites this can often be a non-viable technical solution, so that an alternative bonding technology needs to be developed
  • Infrastructure sharing technology solutions and other associated novel business models need to be developed in order to successfully (i.e. economically sustainably) offer the massively wide-spread and ultra broadband services that European citizens are increasingly anticipating. At present, the development and deployment of such infrastructures is taking more a significantly longer time than is desirable from a societal point of view, and this is also affecting European global competitiveness and productivity
  • Simplification of the provisioning and management in next-generation access (NGA), especially with the evolution towards open access networking, is key to the massively widespread deployment of ultra broadband networks and the stimulation of a dynamic and competitive environment to promote sustained technology and Internet service innovation.

Taking into account all the points listed above, SODALES aims to develop an advanced interconnection service using WDM-PON, legacy cellular technologies (GSM,  WCDMA…) and 60-GHz radio for fixed users and LTE and beyond for mobile users, offering a standard L2 Ethernet-based interface to enable a multiplicity of network providers to supply services and applications across a unified access platform that will support transmission of multiple Cellular wireless technologies, 60 GHz radio, and data services over economical aggregation  platform.

Sodales overview

For more information, check the documentation section.