Backhauling to the Future

Carl Weinschenk

The two axioms that come to mind when reading this Unstrung story hyping its latest Insider report involve the laws of unintended consequences and the pitfalls of having one's dreams realized.


Carriers, the report says, are struggling with backhauling due to significant increases in data traffic. Backhauling, as the name implies, is the ferrying of data from cell sites back to the central office. The report says that this data traffic can't be accommodated adequately on current voice-optimized backhaul networks. The story doesn't say whether the problem is the overall volume increases or an inherent difference in the two types of traffic, though the sense is that increased traffic probably is the issue.


In any case, the story's description of how some firms are meeting the challenge suggests another axiom: What's old is new again. It says that one of the most popular solutions to the problem is the use of microwave. This is a venerated approach that has been employed by cable television operators, telecommunications carriers and others for decades. The story says that this technology is gaining favor because it is quick to set up and far cheaper than laying fiber.


Though it is not specifically aimed at telecommunication services, a good example of the popularity of wireless backhaul services is today's announcement that Ceragon Networks' FibeAir IP-MAX wireless system will be used by Operation Green Light, a regional initiative in the Kansas City area aimed at reducing traffic congestion and vehicle emissions.

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