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Smart phones. Tablets. Laptops. Internet of Things. They’re all key players in the increasing demand for access to user content and the move to high-speed 4G networks. And this onslaught of data volume and need for speed show no sign of slowing down.
Caught in the middle are Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). Interconnecting users, man and machine to their content, the mobile backhaul network is critical network infrastructure and must evolve in terms of capacity, reliability, latency, and availability. MNOs are rethinking their mobile backhaul network strategy and seeking more efficient and cost-effective ways to keep pace with voracious bandwidth demands.
Small cells place radios closer to users and are one of the ways MNOs can strategically improve wireless network access speeds and coverage. They improve the quality of the overall user experience, which is a formidable competitive differentiator for any MNO.
Ethernet–based mobile backhaul can decrease mobile backhaul network costs while simultaneously improving bandwidth, reliability, availability, monitoring, and end-to-end management capabilities.
Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) will soon create a more open mobile network development environment to facilitate the introduction of innovative new services and product offerings, many of which have not even been dreamed of yet.
Smartphone use is expected to increase from just over 50% in 2014 to almost 70% by 2018. Bandwidth consumption by mobile users commonly increases as they transition to smartphones, precisely because OTT applications support high-bandwidth content, such as video streaming. The majority of bandwidth consumption of tablets and phablets (large-format phone or small-format tablet) has traditionally been over WiFi networks, but that trend is increasingly shifting toward mobile data network access, which will further contribute to mobile backhaul network bandwidth growth in the coming years.
This is an exciting time for the mobile communications industry, and the changes coming represent an important modernization in the world of mobile backhaul networking. The increased adoption of 4G LTE and LTE-Advanced mobile network technology is accelerating these mobile backhaul fiber upgrades, which can and will be leveraged by future 5G networks, given the almost unlimited bandwidth that fiber-based networks offer.
The growing demand for mobile bandwidth is daunting, with a recent study* predicting a fivefold increase in peak mobile bandwidth requirements over the next three years. To improve wireless coverage on a wide scale, far more small cells—as much as 20:1 or more—must be deployed when compared to macro cell deployments.
Service provider backhaul networks are plagued with growing bottlenecks due to increasing device penetration and an abundance of new entertainment services and applications, like video streaming, social networking, and multi-player gaming.
By forecasting users' expected bandwidth demand in comparison to service providers' current backhaul capacity, the study predicts that the typical macro cell capacity requirements will rise from 260 Mb/s today to 1.5 Gb/s within five years. This equates to 1,000 users streaming a movie or live sport event at 1.5 Mb/s on their smartphones simultaneously. To handle this level of growth, networks need to have sufficient backhaul capacity to accommodate the plethora of new devices, data, and applications, as well as varying—and often unpredictable—traffic patterns. An optimized, agile mobile backhaul solution supporting 10 Gb/s or more to a macro cell tower will be essential to alleviate this projected bandwidth and ensure the expected quality of experience.
Operators are rushing to deploy fiber connections and packet-based services to cell sites, replacing legacy copper-based TDM services that can no longer supply sufficient capacity in a data-centric world. Additionally, ongoing network upgrades to 4G LTE, LTE-Advanced, and eventually LTE-Advanced Pro give mobile users access to more bandwidth than ever before. While a 1GbE connection to a major market cell site is now commonplace, the aforementioned trends are paving the way for 10GbE connectivity—or more—to soon become the 'new normal'. Projections for 5G performances will mean even higher connections to macro cells.
Network operators that offer wholesale mobile backhaul services are quickly recognizing that a new approach, blending high-capacity connectivity with lower cost, will be required if they want to profitably sustain these endeavors. The mobile backhaul market has enjoyed a long run of strong growth, propelled by a steady rise in mobile users, smartphones, and a new generation of bandwidth-hungry applications. In turn, this combination has fueled a frenzy of network upgrades by mobile operators to increase capacity and transmission speeds so users can take advantage of these new applications.
Of the nearly four million macro-cell sites in service around the world, roughly 900K are now equipped with new 4G LTE technology.
“Small cells, indoor and outdoor, are a key part of the emerging HetNet that allows Mobile Network Operators to maintain pace with surging demands for mobile bandwidth and improved coverage,” said Brian Lavallée, Senior Director of Portfolio Solutions for Ciena's packet networking solutions.
Ciena’s 5G Network Solutions add scale and network automation to support a new age of mobile connectivity in BSNL
Ciena CEO Gary Smith describes how the “greenfield” nature of India’s digital revolution is allowing it to use mobile access to leapfrog more advanced economies. This article was originally published on Techonomy.
If you think about a mobile network holistically, it’s really a gigantic wireline network with radios and antennae hanging off its edges, close to the end-users. This makes the wireline network just as critical as the wireless network for end-to-end
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5G is much more than a new wireless access technology. It will fundamentally change how Mobile Network Operators build, operate, and use mobile networks.
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This webinar shares insight into how Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) can take action now. Specifically: the business benefits that will drive 5G adoption, how 5G will impact the wireline network and wireline network improvement needed for 5G etc.
An exciting initiative was launched today that will lay the groundwork for the first 5G next generation network collaboration platform in Canada that will advance 5G networks around the world, and we’re a part of it.
It’s not surprising that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are looking to densify their networks. Not only is it a logical step to improve geographic coverage while adding much need additional capacity, it’s also a significant step to address changing
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