How backhaul strategies can keep revenues

John Naylon/CBNL
17 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 benefiting the most from deploying SDN applications for mobile backhaul networks, with projected 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.

Strategy Analytics highlighted Asia Pacific because it is currently an opportune market for deploying SDN in mobile backhaul and a good example of how this can be used. There has been an extraordinary growth rate of mobile phone users in the region in recent years.

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