& cplSiteName &

Poll: Backhaul Holds Up City Small Cells

Sarah Thomas

The need to build out new backhaul is the biggest impediment to public access small-cell deployments, a poll of the Light Reading community suggests.

Out of nearly 700 poll takers, 35% chose backhaul as the biggest challenge for small cells in the city, followed by the 24% that cited obtaining rights from the city to install them as the most difficult. Proving the business case (18%), working out interference issues with the networks supported (14%), and obtaining operator certifications (5%) all also made the list of challenges. (See Small Cells in the City .)

Our well informed community knows what a lot of vendors and operators have realized: Public access small cells are not a walk in the park. Unlike enterprise small cells that serve a clear business need in already wired, privately owned locations, public access small cells add the additional elements of backhaul, rights, and an unproven ROI. (See Know Your Small Cell: Home, Enterprise, or Public Access? and WiFi: Small Cells' Trojan Horse?)

According to Heavy Reading , there will be 700,000 public access small cells in service worldwide requiring new backhaul connections by the end of 2017. And each small cell may have a different capacity requirement, interference issue, and non-line-of-sight network need. (See Small Cells Mean Big Backhaul Challenges.)

Heavy Reading has long been bearish on the public access small cell market, taking a far more conservative position than many other industry analysts on the speed and volume of rollout: The results of this poll provide insight into some of the main reasons why operators are not rushing en masse to add them to their wide area networks. (See Public Access Small Cells: Off to a Slow Start and How Heavy Reading Called Small Cells Right.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
AJ Allred
AJ Allred,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/9/2014 | 4:33:27 PM
Re: Sarah Reedy - Backhaul
Yes, and its even worse than that because zoning is city by city, creating thousands of 'crazy quilt' zoning rules that may change street by street. 

In my dreams I write a draft 'model ordinance' for policy adoption by the American Planning Association.  They already have national models for a host of other topics. 

Wireless is too important for crazy quilts.
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/7/2014 | 8:55:09 AM
Re: Sarah Reedy - Backhaul
Zoning laws are local, not state. That means dealing with 100 or more local boards per state, as opposed to one regulatory body.
AJ Allred
AJ Allred,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/6/2014 | 9:26:02 PM
Re: Sarah Reedy - Backhaul
Yes, zoning is "police power" reserved to the states  --  but the Feds do interfere in many aspects - such as the 1996 Telecom Act that pre-empted regulation on 'health effects'. 

Also, even though base stations are ubiquitous, many were far too hard-won in zoning combat that was not fair or fast.   
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/16/2014 | 1:25:38 PM
Re: Sarah Reedy - Backhaul
Zoning laws are local in the U.S. and will not be superseded by regulatory agencies. But for the most part, base stations are ubiquitous even in markets with a strong NIMBY contingent.
AJ Allred
AJ Allred,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/16/2014 | 12:56:30 AM
Sarah Reedy - Backhaul
Sarah draws attention to the need for reform in local zoning for wireless. Zoning limits on "cell sites" in the US are a patchwork of obsolete specs without a basis in good policy.  We can't love our phones and hate our cell towers.  
User Rank: Lightning
3/11/2014 | 1:46:37 PM
Essential capacity requirements for the perfect backhaul ?
In the days of LTE-A rollouts, what capacity is minimal for long term investment in backhaul gear. I think 500Mb/sec. Intresting to hear more ideas..
User Rank: Light Beer
3/11/2014 | 6:46:14 AM
Re: Addressing the backhaul challenge
Cambridge Communication Systems (CCS) has recently deployed a small cell backhaul network for China Mobile in Beijing.  The self-organising CCS network is very easy to deploy taking local contractors only 15 minutes per site.


Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/10/2014 | 8:50:33 PM
Re: interference
Interesting that making a business case scored relatively low. That suggests the technology is proven, even if deploying it is a big job.
User Rank: Lightning
3/10/2014 | 10:21:41 AM
Addressing the backhaul challenge
The backhaul challenge is being addressed by relevant leading vendors. Realizing that there is no "one fit all solution", the big ones created set of solutions, including adoption of 3rd party innovations from start-up companies. Siklu showed its solution, operating in the 60GHz unlicensed MMW frequencies last month at MWC2014. Those frequencies that already were identified by Infonetics and other market research firms as the one with the largest projected market share, based on the next facts: license-exempt band for fast and quick frequency planning and acquisition; Scalable gigabit throughput; A very high free Space Loss, due to high frequency and oxygen absorption - hence, limited distance, appropriate to be used in dense urban scenarios. Siklu's EH-600T adds self-alignment installation tools and zero-touch configuration all built to enable non-Telco staff fast and reliable installations. Combine all those goodies with the Ultra-small form factor that blends at street-level and the amazing >70 years MTBF based on the all-silicon solution that enables disruptive pricing, and you ends up with a game changing solution.

EH-600T by Siklu
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/10/2014 | 9:50:21 AM
Interference scored relatively low, but that could be because the potential for interference is greater on multimode small cells, and most deployments right now are single mode. There's still concern of interference between the micro and macro network, but it increases when you have multiple technologies in one box.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
WiC congratulates the winners of our inaugural Leading Lights awards: Cisco's Yvette Kanouff, Zayo Group's Sandi Mays and startup Grid4C.
Leaders from Mellanox, Arista Networks, Syniverse, ECI Telecom and Cisco round out WiC's inaugural female tech pioneers of the year.
Women from AT&T, Ciena, Ixia, Zayo Group and Fujitsu make our shortlist for working to advance the cause of women in the next-gen comms industry.
Join WiC and Flex's Caroline Dowling for a live radio show on Tuesday at 12PM ET on how technology is powering the fourth revolution and to what effect in the future.
New companies with a focus on video graphics, smart grid predictive analytics and a quadcopter camera make up WiC's finalists for Female-Led Startup to Watch.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
Wednesday, August 3, 1:00PM EDT
The Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center
Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, Open Networking Research Center, Open Networking Lab
Wednesday, August 10, 1:00PM EDT
Telcos & Open Source 101
Phil Robb, Senior Technical Director, OpenDaylight
Friday, August 12, 1:00PM EDT
The Role of Open Source in NFV
Jim Fagan, Director, Cloud Practice, Telstra
Wednesday, August 17, 1:00PM EDT
Using Open Source for Data Centers and Cloud Services
Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments

Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (1) comment

As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments

Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments

VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments

Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (0) comments

In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments

Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments

How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments

Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks' Kumar Mehta on SD-WAN Managed Services

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Versa's Kumar Mehta for an interview focused on why service providers are building SD-WAN managed services, and how Versa's telco customers are innovating.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper Networks & The Evolution of NFV

7|19|16   |   06:01   |   (0) comments

Senior Juniper Networks executives talk to Light Reading Founder & CEO Steve Saunders about NFV developments and the recent independent evaluation by test lab EANTC of Juniper's Cloud CPE solution.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink Goes Beyond Managed WiFi

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

CenturyLink's managed WiFi allows enterprises, such as retailers and resorts, to track guest WiFi usage in order to help them better communicate with customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
Verizon Sports Big Plans for Yahoo
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 7/26/2016
Light Reading Beyond
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 7/28/2016
Are IP/Optical Integration Initiatives Moving to Silos?
Faisal Khan, Network Operator Technology Planning Dept., 7/28/2016
Yahoo Signing Off in $4.83B Sale to Verizon
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 7/25/2016
Ericsson Board Has Been Asleep at the Wheel – Consultant
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
I've enjoyed interviewing many interesting people since I rejoined Light Reading, but William A. "Bill" Owens certainly takes the biscuit, as we say where I come from.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.