Flat IP

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Flat IP architecture is a method of identifying devices using symbolic names, unlike the hierarchical network layout commonly used with IP addresses it can be referred to Smart IP addresses. This form of internet protocol system is of greater interest to mobile broadband network operators.

Flat IP architecture[edit]

To meet customer demand for real-time data applications delivered over mobile broadband networks, wireless operators are turning to flat IP network architectures.[1]

The key benefits of flat IP architectures are:
  • Lower costs Flat IP architectures eliminate the need for specialized network hardware, such as ATM switches and MPLS routers. This can lead to significant savings in capital and operating expenses.
  • Increased agility Flat IP architectures are more flexible and scalable than traditional hierarchical architectures. This makes it easier to add new devices and services to the network, and to respond to changing business needs.
  • Reduced system latency Flat IP architectures can deliver better performance for latency-sensitive applications, such as voice and video over IP. This is because there are fewer network devices that need to process packets.
  • Simplified management Flat IP architectures are easier to manage and troubleshoot than traditional hierarchical architectures. This is because there are fewer network devices and fewer protocols to deal with.
Some of the key players in recognizing these advantages include:
  • Mobile Networks
  • 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)
  • 3GPP2 standards organizations
  • WiMAX Forum.
Key considerations of Flat IP Architectures for Mobile Networks include:

Advanced base stations that integrate radio control, header compression, encryption, call admission control, and policy enforcement with IP/Ethernet interfaces. Base station routers will provide simpler, lower-latency 3GPP/2 networks. Key emerging players are: Alcatel-Lucent, Airvana, and Ubiquisys.

For WCDMA networks, the Direct Tunnel Architecture is emerging as the most viable evolution path. Currently, all major vendors support Direct Tunnel, where the SGSN is bypassed on the user plane. Even further advancement is Nokia-Siemens's Internet High-Speed Packet Access ([IHSPA]) architecture which also removes the RNC from the data path, thereby simplifying the architecture and reducing latencies even further.[2]

The WiMax Access Services Network was the first standardized IP-centric mobile network architecture establishing principles now being adopted across the industry. Eventually, HSPA and LTE networks have been chosen by most operators as their preferred network technology.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The 5th Generation Mobile Wireless Networks- Key Concepts, Network Architecture and Challenges".
  2. ^ [1] Archived July 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]