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3G driving backhaul spending, new report concludes

The profitability of emerging 3G data services over newly-built mobile broadband networks is under threat from the ...


July 24, 2006  


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The profitability of emerging 3G data services over newly-built mobile broadband networks is under threat from the cost structure inherent in legacy, voice-oriented backhaul architectures, forcing operators to accelerate investment in next-generation access and metro transmission systems, finds the latest report from the subscription research service Unstrung Insider.

The report, Wireless Backhaul & 3G Network Economics, examines factors driving change in mobile backhaul requirements and analyzes the evolution paths of the key technologies that will deliver greater capacity to the cell site at far lower cost per bit than is possible today.

According to the report, the rollout of services over high-speed 3G High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) and CDMA2000 1x Evolution-Data Only (EV-DO) infrastructure represents a vast change in performance for the cellular industry, and could generate a requirement for tens or even hundreds of Mbit/s of backhaul capacity at the cell site.

“Traditional leased-line architectures, however, are unable to scale elegantly and cost-effectively to meet this demand. As a result, operators must investigate alternative access transmission mechanisms, from self-built microwave to digital subscriber line (DSL) and Metro Ethernet,” it said.

“To optimize cost/performance ratios, the long-term vision is to move all cellular transmissions to IP/Ethernet networks. But the sector must also look to migrate more than a decade’s worth of installed time-division multiplexing (TDM) and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) infrastructure, putting the focus squarely on multiservice platforms as operators evaluate their “buy versus lease” transmission choices.”

Further information is available at www.unstrung.com.