Wireless Backhaul A No-Brainer For Cable Operators
Cable operators that haven’t already considered using their fiber networks to provide wireless backhaul services now have a new solution that could help them enter this growing marketplace as a means to enhance revenues.
ECI Telecom, a provider of next-generation network solutions, is offering the 1Net end-to-end packet scheme that will work as a greenfield packet network, an overlay packet infrastructure or with an existing TDM network.
“ECI’s 1Net wireless backhaul approach is to address the main pain points for service providers, such as the lack of fiber all the way to cellsites, the need for IP/Ethernet synchronization, the complexity of packet operations, cost-efficient handling of legacy services, and the need for transport-grade packet networks,” noted Alon Moshes, head of marketing/Network Solutions Division at ECI Telecom.
He added, “We bring to the market innovative multi-functional network platforms, fully integrated solutions and a complete suite of services, tailoring the next-generation-network migration to each provider’s technical needs and business objectives, no matter where they are on their network transformation path from TDM to packet-based.”
In an interview with Communications Technology prior to the 1Net release, Rafael Francis, vice president/Technology and Product Management, Americas for ECI Telecom, said his company is targeting the U.S. cable sector for new sales, and five top U.S. cablecos are looking at the new 1Net solution.
Explaining that part of the problem wireless carriers have is lack of fiber all the way to the cellsite, “there is a very positive North American environment for wholesale wireless backhaul,” he said. “(Cable operators) could make a couple of thousand per month from each tower.”
Francis also said wireless carriers would rather pay cable companies for backhaul services, referring to a pervasive “no checks to LECs” mentality.
Apparently, cable IT technicians aren’t averse to adding wireless backhaul to the network mix. “MSOs are much more data-oriented than are telcos,” Francis told us, “so we haven’t had much problem with the IT department.”
1Net includes new and established company equipment:
- The 9000 family of Carrier Ethernet routers has been enhanced by the addition of the SR9600 Series of metro aggregation and the BG9300 Series of cell-site access platforms. The new high-density, compact platforms enable a converged L2-L3 approach to next-gen wireless backhaul with a bridging functionality for dual support of IP/MPLS and MPLS-TP standards in addition to a variety of synchronization schemes, circuit emulation for TDM traffic services, and end-to-end management to support both pure-packet and existing TDM services.
- The XDM and BroadGate families of multi-service and packet-optical platforms now include the Hybrid+ suite for native and independent handling of both Ethernet and TDM traffic. The Hybrid+ includes independent and native Ethernet switching capabilities, end-to-end MPLS-TP support, end-to-end Ethernet synchronization support, circuit emulation support, and carrier-grade management for both TDM and Ethernet services.
- The BG-Wave Series of native packet and hybrid microwave platforms — LTE-ready platforms introduced today — incorporate microwave radio with full networking and multiservice capabilities by integrating Ethernet/MPLS switch, Add-Drop Multiplexer, Digital Cross Connect and Circuit Emulation Service within the same platform. Also included are packet payload rates of as much as 1 Gbps, low latency and packet delay variation, comprehensive synchronization capabilities and spectral efficiency. The BG-Wave supports the full life transition cycle from TDM to packet-based networks, offering native TDM and Ethernet, TDM over Ethernet (circuit emulation), pure packet, and both fiber and microwave in the same platform.
- The Hi-FOCuS family of multi-service access nodes (MSAN) enables operators to leverage last-mile backhaul through DSL and GPON networks over multiple E1 or Ethernet lines.
- The LightSoft unified network management system for graphical automated end-to-end provisioning and management across network layers (microwave radio, MSPP, CESR) and technologies (MPLS, Ethernet, DWDM, Sonet/SDH and PDH) allows the user to get multiple physical and logical views of the network, facilitating the visualization of connections and correlations between different network layers.
Operator customers also have access to 1NET consultancy services, planning services and network design for help in charting a specific migration path, building business cases, network audit, and traffic analysis and optimization.
“We’ve been working on some DOCSIS integration and EPON,” Francis added. Because ECI Telecom does not make EPON gear (it does make GPON equipment), it has teamed with Sumitomo for DOCSIS over EPON.