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14
Sep
2011

The Mobile Backhaul Challenge

POSTED BY Global Administrator
I have previously blogged about the impact of mobile data traffic growth and smartphone usage, highlighting how it is increasingly outstripping network capacity. As a result of the rapid uptake of subscriber data services and advances in data capacity in the radio access network, there is a need for MNOs to reassess their mobile backhaul requirements and ensure that current or future backhaul network offerings fulfil those requirements. For those who are not clear about what the term mobile backhaul means: a backhaul network is the middle layer of any mobile telecommunications network, and the backhaul links carries communication traffic between the BTS (Base Transceiver Station) and the BSC (Base Station Controller) and onto the mobile core network. In the past, mobile traffic growth has been accommodated by simply enhancing backhaul capacity on a piecemeal basis, but this strategy will no longer work as it becomes less and less cost-effective. It is not just a question of (up)scaling the backhaul, it is now about intelligently matching the backhaul network, not just to the new capacity demands of mobile data, but to the new traffic characteristics of a modern 3G or 4G network dominated no longer by voice but by increasing smart broadband data applications. As we discuss in our new report Mobile Network Backhaul, many operators are either deploying 3G or augmenting/upgrading their network to 4G, so there is a need for them to simultaneously manage the upgrade of their backhaul networks with the upgrade of their radio networks. Consequently, by 2016 we believe that operators will need to spend almost $840 billion globally over the next five years in order to address serious bottlenecks in their backhaul networks. The new Mobile Network Backhaul whitepaper is available to download here…