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Mobile Backhaul by Esa Metsala, Juha Salmelin

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2.5 Making Transition to Packet Technology Networks

The new packet-based MBH networks will be different: main changes are in network capacities and implementation technologies. MBH capacity changes are directly linked to the mobile traffic volume increases, as well as to changes in traffic characteristics. Technology changes in MBH networks are related to different cost-efficiency of the legacy and packet-based transport technologies in handling high traffic volumes and bursty traffic, but they are driven also by the change of interfaces in mobile network elements – more and more of the mobile traffic (at the transport interfaces) is natively packet based. These factors together mean a very strong push for packet-based MBH network solutions, and in the longer term towards fully packet-based MBH networks.

The change in many networks already going on, and according to the forecasts it will even accelerate in the near future. This means that more and more of base station connections will be packet based, often using Ethernet as the lower layer solution. One view about the global change in MBH technical implementations is shown in Figure 2.10.

However, it is important to note also that the different geographical regions and countries and even mobile operators are in different situations: they have different technological starting points, differences in traffic growth as well as significant differences in available funds for change, and that all results in very different speeds in the ...

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