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David Williams
Global Director of Sales, Research
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Mobile Backhaul & Cell Site Aggregation: State of the Art
To support the rollout of high-speed 3G and WiMax data services, cell site capacity requirements are set to double over the next few years. As a result, the high cost of backhaul could be set to ruin industry profitability unless operators begin investing in packet-based transmission facilities.

This report examines backhaul requirements over the coming years, looks at the impact this could have on operating expenses, and evaluates how operators can reduce the cost per bit of transmission using converged, packet-based access networks.

The deployment of specialist cell site and hub site aggregation equipment is vital to the migration from TDM-centric backhaul dominated by leased-line connectivity to more efficient packet-switched transmission that captures the cost advantages of Ethernet and IP technology.

Such devices sit between radio base stations and the transmission network and are located at the cell site itself or at remote aggregation nodes. Features of this equipment include multiple types of traffic management and switching functions, which include grooming, optimization, multiplexing, quality-of-service marking, data offload, and pseudowire encapsulation. With more than 2 million cellular base stations deployed worldwide, demand for such equipment is set to accelerate rapidly.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (uni0207_toc.pdf)
The emergence of EV-DO and High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 3G radio access technologies represents a vast change in cellular backhaul requirements. One of the primary challenges facing cellular operators today is how to transition from a voice-centric model, where extra traffic meant extra revenue, to a data-centric model, where traffic growth is not related to revenue growth. This situation is depicted in the figure below.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Backhaul costs in a theoretical European example, assuming E1 costs of 600 per month ($800), with 10,000 sites in the network, and doubling of the bandwidth requirement per site to support HSPA, leased-line costs would also double. This is shown in the tables below.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies analyzed in this report include: Carrier Access Corp. (Nasdaq: CACS); Celtro Ltd.; Ceterus Networks Inc.; Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO); Kentrox LLC; NMS Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: NMSS); RAD Data Communications Ltd.; Sycamore Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SCMR); Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB); and Verso Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSO).
Total pages: 16
To view reports you will need Adobe's Acrobat Reader. If you do not have it, it can be obtained for free at the Adobe web site.
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