The rapid deployment of 4G LTE (News - Alert) infrastructure in global mobile markets is demanding that mobile service providers and those in backhaul transport offer new services at more competitive prices. This is absolutely critical since backhaul costs constitute a large portion of the expense of delivering services.
Consumers and enterprise professionals are demanding more than just instant messaging and e-mail, requiring access to real-time multimedia and streaming media and this is necessitating faster speeds for quality end-to-end experiences. In short, the network needs to catch up with the market and do so both expeditiously and without major disruption in terms of their costs and customer experiences.
A recent Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) piece, Alcatel-Lucent Mobile Backhaul Solution, examined the issues involved and highlighted the evolution of broadband wireless technologies. This included things like the enhancements in high-speed packet access (HSPA) and evolution data optimized (EV-DO) solutions that enable higher transmission speeds and next generation packet interfaces. As noted, a consistent evolution is necessary to support bandwidth demands and profitably deliver legacy 3G services as well as new 4G LTE ones.
As Alcatel-Lucent notes, service providers can greatly benefit from improved mobile backhaul must take specific steps to meet user demands, as well as their own internal business objectives. They must not only continue to support 2G and 3G services in a cost effective manners and enable a graceful migration to 4G, but also:
- Scale to support new 4G LTE mobile services
- Provide service assurances across all channels
- Enable scalable bandwidth at lower costs by leveraging fiber, copper, microwave and Ethernet/IP over multimedia
- Deliver accurate clock synchronization mechanisms; and achieve lower costs in operations.
Fortunately, providers seeking to take advantage of a mobile IP/MPLS backhaul solution do not have to figure out how to navigate these changes alone. Alcatel-Lucent offers a mobile backhaul solution that enables service providers to not only meet these objectives, but also make a profitable transition to an IP-based mobile transport network infrastructure that is more cost-effective, and supports delivery of new multimedia services and innovative applications, without sacrificing quality.
Having a comprehensive solution for the evolution of mobile transport is key. The goal is to get to an end-to-end IP network as quickly as possible but without service degradation or sticker shock. The Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) solution is not just comprehensive but allows operators to move at their own pace, while implementing and supporting a range of mobile backhaul solutions.
Whether the move is TDM/PDH to packet over copper, wireless or fiber, ALU’s solution helps simplify operations through an integrated network and service management. In fact, the solution IP/MPLS Mobile Backhaul The IP/MPLS Mobile Backhaul applies to all mobile technologies including: GSM/GPRS/EDGE, UMTS/WCDMA/HSPA+/LTE, CDMA/EV-DO/eHRPD, WiMAX (News - Alert), and Femto cells.
The benefits of moving to an all-IP network as demonstrable which is why addressing the backhaul portion of transport is so vital. Operators need to be able to take advantage of the ability to enable the network migration while establishing a future ready platform that low latency, extensible, scalable, can transport bits at lower cost and assure both Quality of Service (QoS) as well as provide much improved Quality of Experience (QoE).
While backhaul is a crucial piece of the mix, Alcatel-Lucent points out that having a comprehensive approach with associated professional services is equally as important. In fact, as can be seen just from things like the proper siting of small cells (involving optimization for access to power and backhaul facilities, along with compliance with local zoning codes) is a non-trivial undertaking requiring the assistance of trusted partners.
Getting to an end-to-end all IP mobile infrastructure is obviously the critical path mobile service providers must take to be not just extend their reach but also to maximize their assets in a rapidly changing world. While plumbing like mobile backhaul may not be sexy, getting it right is going to be table stakes upon which success can be built.
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Edited by Peter Bernstein