To address the problem operators are migrating from existing separate, legacy ATM and TDM backhauling networks to a more cost-effective, converged, MPLS-enabled, and multi-purpose infrastructure.
In addition to reducing operational costs, MPLS-based networks will also lay the foundations for the delivery of next generation mobile services, such as location-based services, mobile gaming and mobile TV, and for the use of future technologies such as Long Term Evolution (LTE) and mobile Wimax.
Ultimately, this fully consolidated network will be able to handle many different types of traffic on a single cell site, enabling the operator to offer many different services to many different types of customer.
The IP/MPLS Forum is tackling these backhaul challenges via its MPLS Mobile Backhaul Initiative (MMBI). The initiative aims to leverage the benefits of MPLS technology in the backhaul by providing a framework for a single MPLS aggregation/backhaul network that is flexible, scalable and economical.