Mobile Backhaul

Mobile data traffic continues to grow exponentially and is expected to grow at a 42% CAGR until 2022(i). Mobile networks are rapidly evolving to cope with this data growth while delivering new services that demand high data throughput, quality of service, reliability, and low latency, which result in more stringent requirements on the backhaul network. However, this capacity explosion has not translated into new growth opportunities for network operators.

Industry-lead initiatives are redefining the architecture for backhaul, which current wireless solutions fail to meet.

Collinear’s Alex 1.0 is a highly scalable and robust Hybrid Free Space Optics (FSO) and E-Band RF wireless solution that dramatically optimizes cost-per-bit over distance and is built to meet mobile backhaul requirements and address network architecture evolution.

Within the existing network architecture (Figure 1) Collinear Networks’ Hybrid Link is best suited for aggregation points where higher capacity links are needed, or to provide highly reliable backhaul connectivity in locations where weather is a challenge for wireless links.

Initially, Alex 1.0 is a point-to-point solution, but in future releases, different topologies within the aggregation network can be supported, as depicted in Figure 2.

Point-to-Point Relay: This is the simplest case of an end-node connecting to the aggregation node through a relay node, which itself can actually act as an end-node.

Star Topology: Several end-nodes connect to a single aggregation node in a star-like shape.

Ring Topology: A number of aggregation and transport nodes are connected together to form a ring. Traffic from one node to another can only be routed in one direction in the ring; one or more of the nodes connects to the core network. (Note: supported in second release.)

Linear Topology: A number of aggregation and transport nodes are connected together in a linear cascaded path. In this case, a redundant link is provisioned in standby mode, parallel to the active link, so that traffic can be switched to this segment in case of a link failure.

In addition, Collinear Networks’ Hybrid Link can be used as a fiber replacement in metro/aggregation rings where deploying fiber is not feasible or is too expensive. It can also be used as backup connection for fiber rings to reduce the impact of fiber cuts.

With the introduction of 4G and 5G networks, the requirements on backhaul will evolve even further. Ultra-high capacity radio sites are expected to require 10Gbps or greater, a driving force behind the industry’s push for fiber as the main technology for 5G networks. Alex 1.0 Hybrid Link is future-proof, offering up to 20Gbps with high availability at longer distances, and is extremely well suited for this type of application.


Figure 1: Generic mobile backhaul architecture

Figure 2: CN Hybrid Link supported technologies