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  Reply # 294799 31-Jan-2010 09:50
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Are you 100% sure 2degrees have 3 RNC's? I'm not sure that they do. I know they have 3 softswitches.

The point I'm making is that it doesn't matter how many RNC's you have an RNC failure is going to lead to an outage. With all 3 networks a Chch RNC failure will lead to a total loss of 3G service for the South Island, in that respect you would have to argue that all 3 networks are no better than each other.

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  Reply # 294810 31-Jan-2010 10:17
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johnr: Changing the IuB routing from 1 RNC to another is not a quick change just before christmas we starting migrating 3G cells from manukau RNC to Frankton RNC And this took alot of planning so there was no impact to customers.




The NBR mentioned that Telecom are using TDM technology for the RNC to NodeB links, and one of the comments said because of this is was impossable to then re-route NodeB to RNC connections during a RNC failure.

From what I read it is *possible* to actually reroute cell sites to another RNC, but it's very complex and not generally done, if at all.

Would that seem correct?




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  Reply # 294811 31-Jan-2010 10:31
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Pardon my ignorance, but what is an RNC?

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  Reply # 294817 31-Jan-2010 10:43
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sbiddle:
cafeg: Ahh, It sounds like someone said
" its a one in a million chance it won't break so we don't need GSM ! "


People need to build and bridge get over the concept that Telecom should have built a "backup" GSM network. The idea has absolutely no logic or merit.



I agree. Why rollout dialup when building a new fibre optic network for a 'backup' plan. While these problems are very fustrating, I don't believe that rolling out 2G is worth it, make your 3G work better, bed in the network, get more RNC's, get your staff beter used to rebooting RNC's - I assume this is only the second time they have done this, or did they get to do it before the network went live. It seems like the Telecom engineers may still be getting used to this new kit. (No distrespect on them, they are some of the best in the world :-)




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  Reply # 294819 31-Jan-2010 10:53
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ajw:
sbiddle:
ajw:
Good to hear. It amazes me more RNC's were not included in the specifications when the XT network was built. One only has to look at the past history of Telecom mobile to note they hardly ever get it right.


Why is it amazing? Why do you believe Telecom needed more than 2 RNC's?



What I can't understand is why people are so hung up about the number of RNC's in a network. Greater numbers of RNC's DO NOT make a better network. If Telecom had 6 RNC's they would still only have a single RNC in the South Island. Why? Because there is not the population to support more. The issue that occured would have still affected the South Island and would have taken just as long to repair.

Likewise if Vodafone had suffered the same RNC issue in Chch as Telecom suffered Vodafone would have been without 3G coverage across the South Island also and would have been in the same boat.


It's about RNC's being single points of failure, so reduce the amount of customers which are offline when one goes down by having more of them in your mobile network.

If Vodafone's RNC in the South Island went down for your example, it wouldn't have effected everyone in Taupo to the bottom of the North Island including the capital Wellington.

Vodafone's RNC went down for the good part of the day around 6(?) months ago which looked after Newmarket among other places, and since the rest of NZ was still online, while is was annoying, and 777 was swamped, there was no newpaper or 6 o'clock news coverage, and people accepted that a chunk of their network went down for a day. It was still a Bad Thing(tm) and embarrassing, but not as bad as taking half of your customers offline.

Also, Telecom have always planned on having more RNC's in their network (as quoted in the NBR.)

I know it's not all about RNC's, XT had problems with the network links/cloud to the 50 odd Node B's which stopped them from coming back online which took a long time to troubleshoot, but again these would probably have been on a different UTRAN router if they had more RNC's.




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  Reply # 294821 31-Jan-2010 10:59
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sbiddle:
ajw:
Good to hear. It amazes me more RNC's were not included in the specifications when the XT network was built. One only has to look at the past history of Telecom mobile to note they hardly ever get it right.


Why is it amazing? Why do you believe Telecom needed more than 2 RNC's?



Telecom seems to always have planned to have more RNC's according to this quote

1.28pm: Quin: Fault is not about RNCs - some UK telcos have four for whole country. But Telecom will install more RNCs, which is mainly part of the growth of the XT network as we see a high level of people moving across.

From http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/chris-keall/live-blog-gen-s-xt-outage-update-clients






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  Reply # 294825 31-Jan-2010 11:02
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PaulBrislen: The point isn't 'how big is your RNC?' but rather 'how many customers are affected if it breaks?'. Vodafone has decided to have fewer customers per RNC rather than risking an outage that affects a large number of customers.

For me, and I've stressed this to the media, the more important point is around fallback capability. If one of our RNCs were to do what Telecom's did, all of our customers would fail over to the slower network. Yes, it would be inconvenient but voice and TXTs would continue, albeit with the associated issues around data speed and possible congestion.

Cheers

Paul


It's more important in 3G only network as well, than Vodafone's as customers can step back to 2G. Not that stepping back to 2G works well on Vodafone, when one of the RNC's went down which looked after Newmarket among others it was about a 30% chance you could make a call, but it's better than carring around a $1,000 calculator. :-)




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  Reply # 294827 31-Jan-2010 11:05
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sbiddle: Are you 100% sure 2degrees have 3 RNC's? I'm not sure that they do. I know they have 3 softswitches.

The point I'm making is that it doesn't matter how many RNC's you have an RNC failure is going to lead to an outage. With all 3 networks a Chch RNC failure will lead to a total loss of 3G service for the South Island, in that respect you would have to argue that all 3 networks are no better than each other.


I was confused about that as well, as 2Degree's run a 2G network which don't have RNC's, but also I remember that apparently all their gear is 3G capable. It would be great if someone could confirm this, and also are RNC's used in 3G networks with 3G switched off and only 2G working?




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  Reply # 294830 31-Jan-2010 11:17
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2degrees will have RNC's somewhere in their network, my understanding was however that they may have only had 2. They have softswitches and media gateways handling their GSM stuff, the RNC's are not used on the GSM network.


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  Reply # 294880 31-Jan-2010 13:33
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Vodafone 2G sites link back to BSCs that cover geographical areas like RNCs for 3G. Also vodafone have 8 RNCs now but the other 2 I can't really talk about sorry.

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  Reply # 294942 31-Jan-2010 16:22
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sbiddle:

All data traffic is routed via the RNC's and SGSN and or GGSN before it hits the internet, as data speeds have got faster it puts more load on the network. Bypassing the RNC for data is currently being trialled by some networks and would mean additional RNC's were not needed to handle significant additional data capacity.



In a UMTS network all traffic, data or voice has to go through the RNC, you can't bypass it and thats why the XT outage cuased outages to voice and data. there are options to bypass the SGSN which is only really needed for signalling or roaming customers using a technology called "Direct Tunnel" which allows the RNC to pass traffic directly to the GGSN and on to the internet.

As paul has also said it comes down to a simple design consideration regarding how many customers you want to put at risk with a single failure. RNC's have redundant components but it is still possible for the whole RNC to fail and so it needs to be factored in during the design process.

There are also technologies avaliable to provide a live failover between RNC's however it requires IP connected NodeBs (the 3G cell towers) through to the RNCs being using and to my knowledge Vodafone and Telecom are using TDM links or Circuit emulation to connect the NodeBs so this wont work.

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