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Mobile backhaul needs rising quickly

By Donna Donnawitz
March 19, 2012
Investments in wired network infrastructure that serves as the backbone for mobile systems are expected to rise at a rapid pace, as mobile data use is growing. According to a recent study from iGR, mobile requirements are rising so quickly that bandwidth capabilities in backhaul networks will need to expand to 10-times their current size by 2016, PC World reported.

iGR founder Iain Gillott told the news source that the need for more mobile backhaul bandwidth is becoming so substantial that individuals who are getting full signal can no longer expect to have a fast internet connection. The backhaul network is currently so clogged that it introduces latency, dropped data packets and other problems into the content delivery equation.

According to research from iGR, peak hour cellular network usage amounts to approximately 750 Gbps of bandwidth. By 2016, that rate will rise to approximately 9.7-times its current level, reaching 7.3 Tbps. Gillott told PC World that meeting this demand for more bandwidth would require mobile backhaul operators to upgrade their core network infrastructure to add bandwidth at a compound annual growth rate of 58 percent.

Gillott told the news source that making backhaul bandwidth upgrades is essential to avoid simply creating new bottlenecks in other parts of the infrastructure.

"If you don't put sufficient backhaul in, you just move the bottleneck, and that is a real concern of theirs," Gillott told PC World.

The need for more bandwidth in backhaul infrastructure will lead to more investments in fiber-optic cabling infrastructure. Gillott explained that approximately 60 percent of mobile backhaul networks were built on copper during 2011, while 30 percent were based on fiber. By 2016, this will shift to 67 percent fiber and just 19 percent copper, PC World reported.

The news source explained that the increase in fiber-optic cabling installation for backhaul networks should pay major dividends for mobile users, as the connection option provides substantially more bandwidth than copper, enabling more robust functionality.

Fiber-optic cable solutions are being deployed in a diverse range of functions, as more consumers and businesses are depending more heavily on data-rich applications and services through the web. As a result, fiber to the home, fiber to the business, fiber backhaul and other forms of optical networks are all becoming more prominent.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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