MWC wrap-up: Vendors roll out backhaul solutions for small-cell complexity, more

Driven by increased consumer expectations for mobile broadband, solving operator problems by adding small cells to more traditional network topographies in outdoor environments was a recurring theme at this year’s Mobile World Congress. A roundup of some of the backhaul news from the shows follows.

Driven by increased consumer expectations for mobile broadband, solving operator problems by adding small cells to more traditional network topographies in outdoor environments was a recurring theme at this year’s Mobile World Congress. A roundup of some of the backhaul news from the shows follows.

Tellabs (Naperville, IL, USA) announced an extension of its product line for small-cell backhaul, including self-optimizing network (SON) technology and software-defined network (SDN) technology, both taking advantage of their 8600 Smart Router hardware to allow operators to concentrate on new services. The company’s SON system is designed to automate routine tasks and provide a cost-efficient way to deal with capacity increases. The SDN system should speed the development of new services, and features a prototype Congestion Control application that should relieve congestion by redirecting network traffic.

Huawei (Shenzhen, China) also chose Mobile World Congress to introduce an SDN-based mobile backhaul solution, called LTEHaul, that provides end-to-end support for the planning, construction, maintenance and optimization of mobile backhaul networks. By adopting the software defined networking (SDN) technology, the solution greatly simplifies the operation and maintenance (O&M) and management of mobile backhaul networks and shortens the time to market (TTM) of new services.

Ciena (Hanover, MD, USA) announced the introduction of a consulting program called Network Monetization as a part of its Network Transformation Solutions practice. The new program will seek to guide operators through the development of cloud-based services for enterprises, retaining ROI in unbridled competition in enterprise markets, and getting the best out of legacy networks.

EXFO Inc. (Quebec City, Canada) and RAD Data Communications (Tel Aviv, Israel) announced that they have enhanced the interoperability of their network monitoring solution: in addition to RAD’s ETX EtherAccess Ethernet Demarcation device, EXFO’s Brix Service Assurance solution for network maintenance now supports RAD’s new MiNID Miniature Carrier Ethernet Demarcation SFP. The new joint package allows for network upgrades without replacing existing equipment, combining the monitoring and analysis function of EXFO’s BrixWorx analysis engine and Brix Verifier network appliances with RAD’s ETX EtherAccess Demarcation devices located at customer premises. Exfo also announced the addition of packet synchronization testing functionalities, including SyncE and precision time protocol (IEEE 1588v2), to its NetBlazer 2.0 series, allowing field technicians to validate sync services as part of Ethernet backhaul turn-ups.

Ericsson (Stockholm, Sweden) launched a SON Policy Manager in Barcelona, to complement the SON Optimization Manager it launched at last year’s show. This product helps operators set rules and policies that steer automatic network behavior, thereby simplifying the setup and running of their multi-technology, multi-vendor networks. The benefits of this approach are expected to grow as operators add small cells in volumes. In related news, the company unveiled its MINI-LINK products for small cells, including the MINI-LINK 3060 that was shown as a concept last year.

NEC (Tokyo, Japan) introduced a suite of new offerings in its iPaSOLINK range of non-line-of-sight radio products, including: iPASOLINK SX for urban street-level connectivity; iPASOLINK EX for urban small cell traffic aggregation and distributed RAN ‘fronthaul’; iPASOLINK AX all-outdoor radio and iPASOLINK split-mount series for remote small cell connectivity and urban aggregation; and iPASOLINK GX for street level branching and outdoor traffic aggregation.

BridgeWave Communications (Santa Clara, CA, USA) announced the launch of Flex4G, its new high-capacity, multi-gigabit wireless solutions for backhaul of next-gen networks. The new product suite is said to enable high power operation without sacrificing reliability. BridgeWave’s advanced digital signal processing technology used in Flex4G provide line-rate, full-duplex 1Gbps in an ETSI-standard, single 250 MHz channel using only 32QAM modulation, with better-than-standard link budgets.

Ceragon (Tel Aviv, Israel) unveiled its new FibeAir IP-20C for 4G/LTE-A networks, leveraging multi-core technology that employs a parallel radio processing engine to deliver up to four times the capacity of existing solutions. The product is a software-defined radio that can be configured for optimized performance in a range of deployment scenarios, including macrocell backhaul, small-cell aggregation and emerging fronthaul applications. Its high radio throughput is said to deliver low latency and high flexibility.