When it comes to having 4G integrated into the same network as 2G or 3G, most operators will design these different technologies as an overlay network at the edge. The packet core will need to handle all types of traffic, including 2.5G/3G and 4G, during the transition to 4G. There are vendors that offer solutions that will support this mix of traffic types in the packet core -- for example, Ericsson's SmartEdge solution can run what is called "triple access," where the core network can support for CDMA, HSPA and LTE. Another example is Tellabs' 9100 packet core solution, which can provide core networking functions for WiMAX, 3G and LTE.
As far as incorporating Wi-Fi/802.11n into 2G/3G/4G-compatible products, BelAir Networks recently released the BelAir100SP Strand Picocell, a product that combines a 3G radio with an 802.11n radio, all built into a cable-strand mounted access point. This product is aimed at both cable providers and telecom operators.
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Related Q&A from Bill Rubino
We are a GSM network integrator looking to provide compatibility in 3G to 2G. Can you kindly suggest
ACG Research principal analyst Bill Rubino discusses the key considerations for ensuring network compatibility when migrating from 3G to 2G, ... Continue Reading