Mobile Networks Meet Challenge by Augmenting Suburban and Rural Backhaul

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Mobile network operators will continue to drive the backhaul market as operators augment backhaul capacity outside of urban areas according to a new Visant Strategies study. And due to 3.5G and 4G usage mobile carriers will further increase high capacity backhaul in urban areas that have already been addressed with improved backhaul according to their report.

"By year-end 2017 we foresee US mobile carriers almost doubling the percentage of their urban and near-urban BTS sites utilizing backhaul capacity between 301 Mbps and 622 Mbps," said Andy Fuertes of Visant Strategies.

Overall mobile wireless carriers have embraced fiber backhaul carriage in urban areas in order to offer capable and affordable backhaul in the ten percent of cell sites which receive most of the peak network traffic. US Mobile carriers have now reached over eighty percent of these urban base stations with fiber coverage.

"Carriers will continue using a mix of technologies for better backhaul due to a greater diversity of backhaul capacity needs, which of course depends on the location of the base station in the network," said Larry Swasey of Visant Strategies. Limited fiber availability outside of major metro areas will require carriers to look to PTP solutions, the study finds.

Backhaul capacity per site, per base station and to the switches that connect these network elements will increase through 2017, the report finds. Nearly forty percent of middle network switches are expected to require more than 1 Gbps of capacity by year-end 2017 while base station sites requiring less than 45 Mbps will decline by over 50% by 2017.

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