[Satnews] Cellular Backhaul is currently one of the hottest topics in the satellite industry.
Every satellite equipment supplier has a solution addressing this vertical in one way or another; it’s an ongoing race of generating innovative and eye catching slogans to stimulate interest from the Mobile Network Operators. At the end of the day however, satellite communications is the last choice of a Mobile Operator to backhaul its traffic from a BTS, 3G or LTE site. So, what is important for a satellite solution to be acknowledged by an Operator?
High reliable system to support the requirements of the MNO to guarantee high quality voice and data calls and ensure low OPEX and CAPEX values. On top it could be beneficial to use the same platform MNO’s Enterprise customers or internal needs. How best to achieve this goal?
Low Jitter: As the dominant application in Mobile Networks is still voice, the system should guarantee very low jitter values to guarantee high voice quality.
High Throughputs + Efficiency: Voice and Data requirements in the socialites continue to grow and Mobile Operators need to adjust their networks to follow the trend and enable end users more bandwidth. This is not only true for dense areas but also for rural. Thus, any backhaul solution from fiber through microwave up to satellite should enable highest Data rates being processed in both (up/down link) directions.
Transmission should also be very efficient to optimize satellite resources and keep OPEX low. As data is not only being downloaded, high modulations schemes should also apply for uplink direction. This argument gets even more into picture when we speak about HTS.
Efficient TDMA Mechanism: When using TDMA solutions, it is extremely important to have high efficient bandwidth allocation mechanism in place to support dynamic data requirements of network sites and not introduce additional delays. If this is not the case some of the calls could be dropped what will reduce end user satisfaction and in turn overall Mobile Service quality perception.
Flexibility in Architecture: When deploying a network, it is crucial to have the flexibility to start small and grow when needed. High investments in central infrastructure might kill smaller networks and requirements – in an extreme example a network could start from a point-to-point link and expand to tens or hundreds of network locations when the network grows. This allows optimizing the CAPEX. Similar flexibility would be expected from the topologies. Why think only in point-to-point or star topologies? In an ideal case a Mobile Operator should see the satellite network similar to a MPLS or other network where network locations could be freely interconnecting all other network locations—using mesh, sub-stars or hybrid topologies. This flexibility in architecture will enable MNO’s to provide services for its Enterprise customers who might require high secure roof-to-roof connections.
High Processing Power: Handling voice, which comes with lots of small packets, requires modems / routers with high processing power to guarantee performance described in points above. Some of the market RAN systems require processing powers of above 100 000 pps.
Carrier Grade Reliability + Availability: As system availability is critical it is recommend using backup mechanism for central infrastructure. With a scalable and flexible system (also topology wise) where each Terminal is one 1U even geographical redundancy is easy implemented by also keeping CAPEX under control.
ND SatCom’s SKYWAN platform fulfills all the above mentioned requirements. The ND SatCom teams will be at Satellite 2016 in National Harbor and CABSAT in Dubai, so join us to discuss the details.