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Small Cell World preview: the backhaul business case
With just under two weeks until Small Cell World kicks off, the industry is gearing up to see the latest and greatest small cell technologies and hear from operators on their deployment strategies.
Despite news earlier this year that over ten million small cells have been shipped, the industry is still very much in the early stages of outdoor, ‘urban’ small cells.
Backhaul will be central to every small cell network. As a result, operators’ decisions on backhaul technology will prove critical to their success.
Although close to their macro counterparts, small cells have somewhat different backhaul requirements which Infonetics recently summarised as: “Operators continue to look for smaller form factor, lower power, and lower cost backhaul equipment to help them drive forward the business case”.
These challenges bring into sharp focus the need for operators to create a compelling business case and a highly effective deployment strategy for small cell investment.
Operators are therefore turning to established carrier-grade wireless technologies for small cell backhaul, to deliver the high capacity services that are in such high demand by customers across their networks.
Key to a strong business case is a fast time to market and the ability to integrate small cell backhaul with existing macro networks.
This integration provides an incrementally low-cost means of adding small cells to the network and is the focus of the presentation I’ll be giving on the backhaul track at Small Cell World (14:40 on Wednesday 1 June for those that may be attending).
By removing the perceived need to deploy a wholly new, untried, backhaul solution for small cells, existing macro infrastructure can be leveraged, eliminating operators’ number one barrier to small cell deployment.
This is likely to see tried and tested backhaul become highly attractive to operators compared to completely new solutions.
We believe this to be so important that it played a key role in the development of our own PMP microwave small cell backhaul solution.
Our latest VectaStar Metro 600 small cell backhaul platform offers operators seamless macro integration, providing a field-proven business case and the ability to deliver up to 600Mb/s backhaul to each small cell.
PMP microwave saves valuable spectrum and equipment by aggregating backhaul traffic from multiple nodes to a single hub location.
By reducing hardware installs, operators are provided with a very quick time to market and total cost of ownership savings of up to 54% compared to fiber or point-to-point.
The underlying maturity of microwave backhaul has the added benefit of providing operators with a field-proven technology which is tried and tested the world over.
I look forward to exploring this further at the event and discussing our technology first hand with customers at our stand. I hope to see you there.