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Backhaul performance takes centre stage for 2012

Backhaul performance takes centre stage for 2012
Quality of service is set to be at the top of operator priorities for 2012, but how will they deal with data demands and why is backhaul key to their success?

With telecoms.com recently reporting that the number of global smartphone sales will increase from 342.4m to 439.1m in 2012, it’s clear an increase in traffic from these data hungry devices will add to the network demands we are already facing.

But it’s not just smartphone adoption which brings challenges – they’re getting smarter. New devices this year (including the iPhone 5) will bring even more fun and data demanding features.

So how will operators cope? Operators will increase 3G coverage, deploy new data focused RAN technologies like HSPA+ and LTE, and develop small cell strategies for the densest urban areas where networks are at near saturation point.

LTE will take a big step forward in 2012, with the GSA reporting at least 119 LTE networks are expected to be in commercial service by end 2012 – a huge increase from the 49 networks currently in place.

These are in addition to many LTE trials, like the Telefonica O2 trial in London which we have been providing the LTE backhaul for and which is delivering great results, with speeds topping 90Mbs.

Even for those not deploying next generation technologies, network planning should factor in the future dominance and challenges of packet data.

 

One element remains consistent across all technologies – backhaul holds the key to success.

The bursty and high peak profile of packet data is magnified by next generation RAN technologies and requires operators to analyse their backhaul capabilities.

Selecting a backhaul solution which provides the right mix of capacity, coverage and cost to deliver superior quality of service is critical to network success and a key quality of point-to-multipoint microwave.

The requirements of next generation technologies and the profile of packet data fits the inherent qualities of wireless point-to-multipoint networks which can bring a 40% backhaul efficiency gain through intelligent data aggregation - delivering performance for today and providing an LTE ready network for the future.

In the words of Rob Joyce, Head of LTE Trials at O2, point-to-multipoint is a technology whose “time was coming”.

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