How backhaul strategies can keep operator revenues

John Naylon
08 Oct 2013

Consumers today want the fastest network, with the highest quality of experience. Operators however, are desperately looking for a better means of efficiently scaling network capacity in order to maintain and build revenues.

Recent research from Strategy Analytics has calculated that deploying software-defined networking (SDN) to mobile backhaul could save operators more than €3 billion (about $4 billion) in capex over the next four years. The Asia-Pacific region, in particular, has been highlighted as potentially benefitting the most from deploying SDN applications for mobile backhaul networks with savings of $2.7 billion.

The research also stressed that these applications could help to close almost half of the $9.2 billion "backhaul gap" in expected demand and accessibility of backhaul capacity.

But while operators in Asia Pacific widely understand the monetary benefits of SDN which look compelling, there is still hesitation within the industry about the best long-term approach and strategy in deploying SDN in mobile backhaul.

Why? Some operators, it seems, are still seeking confirmation that SDN can bring all the benefits it promises while others are uncertain of the business model or industry standards required to fully use the network.

Although these apprehensions should not be diminished and are not without merit, mobile SDN is set to be one of the most transformative technologies in the next few years and operators need to be educated on how - SDN in backhaul in particular - is radically altering the future operational environment and capex structure of networks.

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