The telecommunications market is impacted dramatically by the growing number of mobile subscribers and their demand for new high-speed data and voice services. In a recent report, Infonetics Research stated that the number of worldwide mobile subscribers will increase from a current 2.6 billion to 4.2 billion in 2010. This rapid growth is requiring service providers to expand and optimize their use of packet-based access networks. At the same time, legacy services based on leased line (LL), Frame Relay (FR), Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), Circuit Switched Voice (CSV), and other technologies continue to provide a significant source of high-margin revenue.
A service providers' ability to expand service offerings, optimize the network, and transition to a converged network based on lower-cost packet access networks such as Carrier Ethernet, IP, and MPLS, without losing revenue streams from legacy services, can translate into immediate and signficant cost savings and a huge opportunity for revenue growth with only a short ROI period.
Mobile Backhaul Challenges
Mobile operators' backhaul networks have been built out using TDM transmission technology that runs on top of either leased T1/E1 lines or microwave, with rapid coverage of circuit-switched voice services in mind.
As mobile voice and data (including HSxPA) traffic grows rapidly, operators must expand their coverage and upgrade their services. To cope with this need for more bandwidth, operators are deploying 3G networks which increase capacity, but require additional cell sites in denser configurations.
The backhaul of larger volumes of voice and data traffic from a growing number of cell sites requires significantly more capacity in the Radio Access Network (RAN). But using traditional leased lines for this purpose is prohibitively costly, doesn't scale well, and threatens to drive up OpEx faster than revenues. Estimates indicate that 20% - 40% of OpEx is currently associated with the use of leased lines in the Radio Access Network. A mobile operator's ability to reduce the expenses associated with backhaul can translate into immediate and significant cost savings.
Current deployments, and the expected massive deployments in the next few years, will still be based on TDM base stations. Nevertheless, Ethernet transport provides the required excess bandwidth that addresses the new high-speed data and voice services.
Service Delivery Challenges
Ethernet service providers who currently sell only IP and Ethernet services to business customers are facing lower profit margins and the need for new revenue streams to improve profitability. A huge market opportunity exists for Ethernet service providers and for cable MSOs as well, if they can leverage their existing infrastructures to offer a full portfolio of traditional voice services as well as new IP and Ethernet services. Cable MSOs, for example, can compete against traditional providers of ADSL and single-line T1/E1 services. In addition, cable MSOs and Ethernet service providers can expand their revenue stream even further by also targeting the lucrative cellular backhaul market.
Pseudowire technology is the key to addressing the challenges of all types of service providers. Axerra Networks’ unique and cutting-edge Pseudowire solutions enable circuit emulation and service emulation over packet access networks. These capabiltiies provide mobile operators, cable MSOs, competitive service providers, and incumbent carriers with a rational and economical strategy for enabling legacy service profits and new service revenues while reducing total costs. Axerra Networks' Pseudowire solutions provide a multiservice alternative to TDM access.
For mobile operators, Axerra's Pseudowire solutions are the key to reliable backhaul of voice and data services -- 2G, 2.5G, 3G, and beyond -- over packet networks including Carrier Ethernet, cable HFC, xDSL, xPON, and even WiMAX. These packet access networks provide immediate reduction in recurring backhaul charges while enabling the additional bandwidth needed for emerging services.
By employing Axerra's Pseudowire solutions, Ethernet service providers and cable MSOs can leverage their existing infrastructures to support commercial services for small- and medium-sized businesses -- both emerging services as well as the legacy voice and data services that business customers depend on. In addition, these operators can now serve the large and growing mobile backhaul market, offering mobile operators an alternative to T1/E1 leased lines.
For incumbent and competitive carriers, a multiservice strategy based on Pseudowires enables the carrier to unify the transport of all services on a single packet network that leverages Carrier Ethernet, cable HFC, xDSL, xPON, and WiMAX in the access network and IP and MPLS in the network core, supporting both legacy and emerging services.
Read more about Axerra Networks' Pseudowire solutions.