Do I need a dedicated APN?

APN stands for Access Point Name. It’s a confusing legacy term, as the APN actually has nothing to do with your access points.

An APN is effectively a tag that identifies your enterprise network to the EPC. It is used at the EPC to apply policy decisions such as access control or IP address allocation.

With the Alef Connect solution, you do not need to request your own dedicated APN to set up a private mobile network, however, you will require a dedicated APN if you wish to control Mobile device IP address allocation. The range of IP addresses that your mobile APs give out to mobile devices comes from the EPC. You have the choice of either letting us define the private address ranges for your mobile devices, or if you wish to define these ranges yourself, you can do this when you are ordering your network by specifying your APN, and the IP ranges that will be assigned to it.

It’s also worth mentioning at this point that you will need your own APN to take advantage of future policy control enhancements.

Edge Point - mobile AP Connectivity Options

Your mobile AP will communicate with the EPC via the Alef Edge Point over a GTP (GPRS Tunneling Protocol) tunnel for mobile devices user plane traffic. The Alef Edge Point will break out the user plane traffic and send it back to the enterprise network.

The connectivity between the mobile AP and the Alef Edge Point can be done either:

With IPSEC

  • The mobile AP gets private IP from the enterprise network

  • Direct P2P IPSec tunnel connects the mobile AP to the Alef Edge Point

  • The Alef Edge Point assigns a 2nd IP to be used on the mobile AP for its communications with the EPC. This IP will be from the 100.64.0.0/16 , an EPC reserved address space.

  • A GTP tunnel is brought up between the mobile AP’s EPC assigned address and the EPC

Without IPSEC

  • The mobile AP gets an EPC assigned IP from Alef

  • A GTP tunnel is brought up between the mobile AP’s EPC assigned address and the EPC.