Background on Backhaul: What You May Have Missed in this Rapid Field
By Juan Prieto, Product Marketing Manager, InfoVista
The roll-out of packet backhaul has been key to mitigating cost escalation associated with the transition from a voice-centric to a data-centric revenue model in mobile services. Many operators making that transition are drawing attention to the importance of migrating to packet backhaul, and how to accelerate the return on investment and add value to their next-generation network and services with backhaul service assurance.
This reading list aims to help readers further understand the importance of backhaul service assurance as a means to ensure high performance by gaining better visibility into the network; generating real-time reports on network performance; leveraging those reports to verify SLA commitments; and proactively solving problems before services and customers are impacted.
Migrating to mobile backhaul offers the opportunity to lower costs and improve performance, and many mobile operators are implementing it to combat the capacity crunch. As data traffic continues to increase, mobile operators will also be looking for ways to ensure that they are ahead of that growth with considerable insight into the performance evolution of mobile backhaul and other next-generation network domains. This recorded video explains the potential impact of capacity shortages on mobile operators’ bottom lines and the solutions they are deploying to guarantee infrastructure investments are right-sized for the customers’ needs.
The leader in Tunisian mobile telephony, Tunisiana, recently initiated a project to include fast-speed 3G services in its portfolio. As part of this expansion, the operator’s engineering team deployed a 10 Gigabit IP backhaul aggregation infrastructure. While this network transformation project is bringing huge cost-savings to the delivery and performance of 3G services, it has generated an equal number of technical and management challenges. InfoVista stepped in to help Tunisiana streamline network planning, meet quality of service (QoS) expectations, simplify ongoing management of the operator’s new transport network infrastructure and support its strong growth in the mobile market.
InfoVista and Billing & OSS World teamed up to conduct a survey examining the state of the telecom industry and perceptions of IP/Ethernet mobile backhaul performance. The results showed that, although Carrier Ethernet is the most popular choice for next-generation backhaul architectures, it hasn’t been completely adopted by the industry yet. Thirty-three percent of respondents said that they are only in the early planning stages, while 15 percent are still conducting vendor relations, 28 percent have just begun deployment and only 24 percent are close to completion.
LTE brings changes across the whole mobile network, including the core, transport and access networks, as it can only operate over an underlying all-IP infrastructure. Thus, mobile operators must completely restructure the way they operate, monitor network performance and ensure service quality. This is further complicated by the fact that most mobile operators deploying LTE are sourcing equipment from at least two infrastructure vendors. How can they address these challenges to assure high performance for LTE networks?
Managing Carrier Ethernet performance is extremely complicated, largely because of the high QoS demands for services that frequently travel over mobile networks and the many technical options available to deploy new network infrastructure. As a result, mobile operators are struggling to guarantee end-to-end service quality, and, due to their lack of familiarity with efficiently managing and assuring its performance, are shying away from Carrier Ethernet. A strategy, which will be very costly, as traffic continues to grow.
By working closely with mobile operator customers, we’ve become aware of their frustration with managing Ethernet-based backhaul networks because they lack the visibility required to offer high QoE to their subscribers. When mobile operators lease Ethernet Backhaul, the traditional VPN reports that were designed for large enterprises are not sufficient, as they require a deeper understanding of the performance of their backhaul in real-time and in the relation to their adjacent networks. Because mobile operators are feeling blind in this regard, there is a clear opportunity for wholesale providers to differentiate themselves in the marketplace based on more than just price.