September 11, 2015

Case for IP/MPLS Routers at the Small Cell…but not Just any Router!

With the goal of a hyper-meshed 5G street level network, clearly today’s small cell deployments represent just an interim phase in a progressive network densification—pushing the network outward. This means today’s small cell sites will become tomorrow’s macrocells, or hub sites.

Future-looking mobile operators have planned for this eventuality. In the developed world, small cell and the Internet of Things (IoT) drive mobile network densification. However, in the developing world the primary goal of enterprise connectivity spurs network densification, due to lack of wireline infrastructure to business buildings. The end result of network densification is the same.

Aviat Networks says IP/MPLS-enabled small cell backhaul critical to indoor mobile usageWith up to 80 percent of mobile traffic originating and terminating indoors, and the coverage challenges presented inside buildings, Aviat Networks sees the first phase of small cell deployments focusing on improving indoor coverage, with early, limited outdoor small cell sites located primarily on rooftops, where siting, landlord approvals, planning permission and deployment aspects such as power, are well understood.

Operators plan these initial small cell deployments with the idea of subtending more street level and IoT equipment. In short, these small cells must architecturally look and behave very similar to today’s macrocell sites, without the size, cost, deployment complexity or indoor footprints afforded traditional cell sites. Deployment of cell site routers at macrocell sites is ubiquitous today to improve network scalability, provide aggregation and common transport over IP, lower costs and enable IP-based VPN services. Operators build small cell sites to accommodate these routing capabilities in preparation of future outward network expansion.

Sometimes you gotta go outdoors!
All this leads to a growing demand for compact all-outdoor routers.

We also know that approximately 50 percent of all macrocells globally are backhauled wirelessly, and we expect to grow that number when it comes to small cell. Small cell and enterprise solutions will need to support multiple backhaul transport technologies, a range of wireless options and frequency bands as well as fiber.

Outdoor routers for small cell and enterprise must be optimized for any transport media. While regular routers are designed for fiber backhaul, microwave routers not only work well with fiber backhaul but also are optimized to improve wireless network performance and lower costs.

To meet the goals of initial small cell and enterprise rollouts, prepare for future network densification and support fiber and wireless backhaul, Aviat has released an IP/MPLS capable microwave platform called CTR 8380. As an all-outdoor microwave router CTR 8380 converges microwave and IP/MPLS functions into a single compact device for all-outdoor deployments and is the only outdoor router on the market with integrated microwave capability. Because router and microwave functions are integrated into a single box there are fewer devices to buy, deploy and maintain, which is critical for all-outdoor deployments.

Its all-outdoor form factor eliminates need for shelters or cabinets, reducing air conditioning requirements and lowering power and fuel consumption.

Check out this new microwave networking solution as you prepare for your small cell and enterprise network rollouts!

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