Mobile backhaul: Challenges and opportunities

Leasing or self-building backhaul networks is a key strategic decision that mobile operators have to take -- even more so in the mobile broadband era when EV-DO, HSPA, mobile Wimax and LTE promise to drive backhaul bandwidth demand at some urban cell sites to up to 50 Mbps within five years.

This paper presents a brief overview of the mobile backhaul market, illustrates the unique challenges facing mobile operators and backhaul transport providers and describes various strategies for commercially viable transport of multi-generation mobile technologies over fiber, fixed wireless and TDM/SONET/SDH infrastructures.

In particular, this paper stresses the performance criteria that mobile operators expect if they are to trust their backhaul network to third parties.