Software-defined mobile networks

A mobile network is considered software-defined if the protocols and functions in the radio access network and the core network are implemented in software, and the hardware and software used in both the radio access network and the core are generic (for example an Intel chipsets and Nuand transceivers).

The YateBTS/YateENB SatSite is a software-defined base station because it is built with commodity hardware (generic chipsets instead of classic FPGA and DSP), and the 2G and 4G software applications based on Yate use a non-proprietary OS – Linux. The YateUCNTM is a Linux application running on commodity servers, implementing the functions of 2.5G GSM/GPRS and 4G LTE core networks entirely in software.

The practical effects of software-defined mobile networking are:

Image with Yate-based mixed LTE and GSM Software-defined mobile network


Generic software brings flexibility in managing the network functions and its capacity remotely. Software allows upgrades and changes that could otherwise be achieved by replacing or reprogramming the hardware.

The SatSite can be software-configured to increase power for up to 4-TRX/ARFCN, while the subscriber capacity of YateUCN can be increased with up to 50%, all with a software change. Because no FPGA, switchboards, or separate modules are needed to perform each function, the equipment size is reduced and requires less power. The new space requirements for both the RAN and the data center allow operators to deploy new networks more lightweight networks, more densely, and closer to the user.


The software-defined approach leads to major costs reductions for equipment. Replacing hardware modules and functions with software and general-purpose hardware makes the equipment lighter, reshapes power supply requirements, and reduces CAPEX and OPEX. Since the SatSite performs the functions of both the BTS (base transceiver station), the BSC (base station controller), and partially the MSC (mobile switching center), and communicates with the YateUCN directly over an IP-based backhaul instead of Abis interface, the deployment costs for new network are drastically downsized.

Efficient management

The SatSite and the YateUCN are based on a generic operating system such as Linux, and enable operators to autonomously manage their network, improve the overall planning and operation of their deployments.

Unlike typical special-purpose equipment, the commodity hardware and the non-proprietary software in the YateUCN and the SatSite eliminates the need for vendor-specific support and training; when using the SatSite and the YateUCN minimal external support is needed for installation, management, and servicing.

Our complete software-defined mobile network solution relies on using the YateBTS/YateENB SatSite together with the YateUCN.


The YateBTS and the YateENB are software implementations of the GSM/GPRS radio network protocols, and LTE, respectively. Based on Yate technology, they run on Linux and use Nuand’s digital radio board BladeRF. The entire physical layer is implemented in software, unlike common FPGA- or DSP-based radio designs.


YateUCN, the unified core network, is a Linux application running on commodity servers. It implements the functions of both GSM/GPRS and LTE core networks and can be used to build new, mixed 2G/4G networks, or can be integrated in existing deployments. The YateUCNTM was also developed on Yate and it replaces all hardware routers and transcoders with software.