Scaling 3G backhaul

15 Oct 2006


How many 9s can you get‾

We look at things like how frequency is used, how much spectrum is needed to cover a certain area. So the main criteria will be the distance and the reliability. What kind of features are there that will be able to support us in our network rollout‾ For example, capacity of the link. How many E1 ports are there or if there are any IP ports, how many are there‾

As operators add more access services, like Wi-Fi or WiMAX, will their backhaul networks merge as well or do they have to remain separate‾

Ong Kok Ching:  If operators have a large market segment, then they would already have a few platforms: ATM, TDM, IP. For them to kill the legacy networks and say that you only have this as a single platform doesn't seem likely. For us, because we are a cellular company, we are looking into the possibility of having everything in a single platform. But right now we are still largely using NG-SDH.

Dick Carter: You've just made the comment that you are a voice GSM telephone company, and I think there is a very important distinction to make between the two types of operators that are starting to exist now and will exist in the future. And that is there are cellular companies that provide data services, and there are data companies that provide cellular services. And the basic philosophy of transmission between those two models today is very different.

Microwave radio can obviously handle the capacity right now, but how will it evolve to be able to meet demands over the next five to ten years‾

Dick Carter: People are now buying SDH radios. One of the reasons the cost has been reduced so dramatically over the last several years is because the uptake and the production volumes have increased dramatically.

I've heard a lot of people talking about the subject of how do we squeeze in more bandwidth. There are physical limitations on that. The laws of physics cannot be changed, and that's one of the reasons early on that as data services explode and the backhaul capacity increases, there will necessarily have to be more efficient means of compressing data that will be required. Both halves of the industry have to work together there. So, yes, there is a requirement for more data capacity in microwave radios.

Comparing satellite with microwave, microwave is good for wireless connectivity, you don't have to worry about fiber, you don't have to land acquisitions, and satellite has some of the same value propositions as well. So what are you telling your customers if they say, okay I'll go with satellite rather than go with microwave‾

Winston Tan: When we propose a solution and the locations are further than 20 to 40 km, you may need satellite. So at end of the day you still need a platform to the last mile. It's a complementary solution I would say.

Dick Carter: I've not yet come across one application where satellite technology competes with microwave technology as to which is the best solution. The application and the geography very clearly dictate one or the other.


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