Small cell backhaul

The dawn of the small cell era demands a fresh approach to backhaul.

The dramatic transformation of network topology needed to introduce small cells brings many new challenges and operators must review their backhaul strategies to create the most successful business case.

Along with offering high capacity, extensive coverage and rapid deployment, small cell backhaul must deliver a much lower cost per bit than its macro counterpart.

However, backhaul is backhaul. Although operators are looking to reduce costs, quality of experience must not be compromised. Backhaul must continue to be carrier grade, and improvements in efficiency must be made to cut costs.

The wideband PMP approach

Although a mix of technologies are proposed for small cell backhaul, PMP microwave offers the most attractive performance/price for the vast majority or urban deployments.

This is backed up in Infonetics’ ‘2013 Small Cell and LTE Backhaul Strategy: Global Service Provider Survey’, which stated 60% of mobile operators expect to deploy PMP by 2016.

The shortage of uncongested spectrum below 6GHz means non line of sight solutions can’t keep up with capacity demands.

Likewise the inflexibility and high cost of point-to-point (PTP) and fiber becomes all too apparent in the small cell era.

Wideband PMP is not afflicted by these limitations.

PMP speeds and simplifies installation as only one end of the link needs to be visited when commissioning, with the total cost of ownership benefit that comes with deploying approximately half the equipment.

High capacity PMP microwave makes use of the plentiful supply of spectrum which is available by the GHz in these bands and offers guaranteed quality of service through licensed spectrum.