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The Alef Edge Private Mobile Network

The Alef Edge Platform is a Private Mobile Network as a service (PMNaaS) that allows enterprises to create, connect to, and manage private mobile wireless networks within enterprise IT to securely and seamlessly run their business workflows over a private edge network on near-prem “Edge points”.

Thanks to our suite of Enterprise Mobile Connectivity APIs, all this is achieved without the dependency on mobile network operators and the knowledge of the intricacies of mobile system specifications. Enterprises have the freedom to choose their on-site mobile APs, and use standard and secure transport mechanisms to connect them to our managed mobile network infrastructure.

Architectural overview

Fig.2 Alef Mobile Connect operation

Fig.2 Alef Mobile Connect operation

1. Mobile devices will communicate over the air with the mobile APs.

2. Mobile APs will send traffic on to the nearest Alef Edge point. The connectivity between the enterprise network and the nearest Alef Edge points will be provided by a dedicated managed link such as fibre (assuming the Edge point shares a colo location with enterprise network equipment), MPLS, EVPN, or any other supported secure medium.

3. Alef Edge point will forward control plane traffic to the EPC, and usage data to Alef Management Services (Billing will be based on this usage information).

4. EPC will communicate with the mobile AP via the Alef edge point, authenticating and managing the user session in real time.

5. Alef edge point will break out the mobile user traffic, which will be routed onwards to its destination. This could be one of:

  • Enterprise private network
  • Back to the customer premises
  • Customer resources at the edge Colo
  • Customer resources in public clouds

6. On an ongoing basis, customer will provision, monitor and and manage their mobile network via the Alef Cloud Services API.

Network elements

Managed by Customer/AP vendor:

Mobile (4/5G) APs

Provided and managed by enterprise customer. The enterprise will engage a vendor to supply, and if required manage, these devices.


The range of frequencies that the enterprise’s mobile APs can use in a given location.

Mobile Device (UE)

The device where you will install a SIM/eSIM that will use your private mobile network.


The formal mobile networking terminology for a mobile device is 'User Equipment' (UE). You will see the term UE used in our API, it just means mobile device.

Provided and Managed by Alef:

Alef Edge point

The Edge point is the nearby Point of Presence (POP) that hosts Alef’s Edge platform and software stack. It will usually be located in a colo facility close to the enterprise to provide the low latency connectivity required by enterprise applications.

This enhanced, low latency mobile connectivity experience is made possible by two main factors in play at the Edge Point:

  • Seamless mobility within a mobile network is achieved by keeping a mobile device’s data session anchored to a fixed PDN Gateway (PGW) while the mobile device roams between mobile APs. Alef Connect provides PGW functions at the Edge point, anchoring the mobile device’s continuous data session and hence improving the connectivity experience as the device moves around.
  • Local breakout of user traffic at the Edge Point places the mobile device’s original IP packets on the wire at the Edge Point so they can be routed back into the enterprise network, and vice versa.

By connecting a dedicated virtual Edge platform to the enterprise private network via a private link, the Edge platform and the “attached” mobile devices anchored at the Edge platform will become an integral part of your network, fully under your control. Alef deploys Edge Points in a geographically distributed manner across many colo facilities that are easy to reach by many network carriers, enabling the Edge platform to deliver mobile device user traffic directly to your network.

In summary, the Edge point and the Edge platform within it carries out several tasks:

  • Breaks out mobile devices’ traffic and forwards it to the enterprise network.
  • Forwards mobile control plane traffic to and from the EPC for registration, authentication, authorization, mobility hand-off and other session management signaling.
  • Forwards usage information to the Alef management services for reporting and billing.

Alef Management service

The Alef Management Service communicates with all edgepoints to achieve session management, accounting and other management plane functions. It provides the management function of all Alef Connect services, including:

  • Monitoring service Monitors all services, providing health check system metrics, alarms, logs and events.

  • Proxy Service Manages and tracks Alef Connect users, creating usage records and helps to enforce policy. Exposes stats information via APIs. Interfaces with EPC for requisite information for session management.

Alef Cloud services

This is where the APIs that enable you to provision and manage your private mobile network are exposed, and a collection of services are hosted. In summary the Alef Cloud Services component:

  • Hosts the front and back end of the developer portal.
  • Manages subscriptions of Alef service(s).
  • Hosts customer lifecycle services such as license management, ordering, account management, and billing.
  • Exposes the customer facing APIs.


These are sent to you when requested, and facilitate secure communication between the mobile devices and their EPC via mobile APs.


Responsible for the user authentication, session management, and mobility management for the private mobile network.