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Enhancing Wireless Backhaul Using Cable Networks

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June 27, 2008

Enhancing Wireless Backhaul Using Cable Networks

By Anuradha Shukla, TMCnet Contributor


Due to rising cost associated with scaling existing TDM leased lines, and demand for emerging 3G and 4G/WiMAX services, wireless operators are being driven to search for lower cost backhaul alternatives to service more than  200,000 base stations covering the U.S.

According to recent studies by SNL Kagan and GeoResults, wireless revenue was $164 billion during 2007, representing more than 40 percent of U.S. telecom spending. The researched predicted that backhaul will account for $10 billion of this revenue in 2008, and will increase to more than $16 billion in 2009 as mobile data services grow 14 percent annually during the next 10 years.
Accedian Networks suggested that cable operators can adapt their existing infrastructure for backhaul to benefit from the growth of wireless. They should also focus on building the means and expertise to introduce their own mobile services. The emerging high-speed data networks need highly scalable, low cost, Ethernet connectivity.
The white paper referred to a recent Synergy (News - Alert) Research Group report that surveyed world’s top 20 mobile operators and their backhaul requirements for 2010. The report said carrier Ethernet was the favored technology and more than 90 percent of operators picked it for its operations and maintenance (OAM), performance and TDM circuit emulation, backed by Metro Ethernet Forum (News - Alert) (MEF) specifications.
Selection of the right network elements depends to a large degree on the network an operator has in place and the services it intends to deliver, Accedian said in its white paper. As discussed earlier, carrier Ethernet is a natural fit with cable networks. An Iometrix (News - Alert) 2007 report indicated that the best performing Ethernet private line and LAN (E-Line/ELAN) services were offered by U.S. MSOs. Accedian emphasized that wireless backhaul is significantly more demanding than business applications and thus monitoring and maintaining the network is critical. 
An operator’s ability to define the boundaries between their network and those of their customers is one of the key requirements for service assurance. Operators can deploy Ethernet network interface devices (NIDs) that can work as both a test head and an inline demarcation point at the edges of the network. MSOs can measure performance as traffic passes through the NID in order to have a clear end-to-end view of their network that excludes impairments introduced by the wireless operator’s core network or base station equipment.
For more about this topic, please visit the Wireless Backhaul channel on, brought to you by Accedian.
Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anuradha’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. Today’s featured white paper is Fixed Service Strategies for Mobile Network Operators, brought to you by Comverse (News - Alert).

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