January 15, 2008
T-Mobile International AG is taking the HSDPA backhaul bottleneck challenge head-on with the commercial launch of an Ethernet-over-DSL solution from RAD Data Communications Ltd. (See T-Mobile Ramps Up Backhaul, T-Mobile's Backhaul Bugbear , and HR Tracks Backhaul.)By deploying an Ethernet-over-DSL solution, T-Mobile is ahead of the pack as many operators are considering Ethernet-based backhaul to increase capacity in the transport network at a lower cost than deploying many expensive E-1 leased lines. (See Ethernet Backhaul Battle Brews, Carriers Face Backhaul Conundrum, Mobile Backhaul Peaks in 2007, Mobile Carriers Tackle Backhaul Bottleneck, and 3G Drives Backhaul Spending.)
RAD first announced T-Mobile as a customer back in May last year. But now, the German giant has confirmed the success of field trials of RAD's ACE-3000 gateway. T-Mobile has been backhauling commercial high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) traffic over the gateway in Germany since late October last year. (See T-Mobile Picks RAD and RAD Tackles HSDPA Transport.)
T-Mobile is also testing the solution in two other European markets, one of which is the U.K., according to Gaby Junowicz, business development director at RAD.
With RAD's backhaul gateway in Germany, T-Mobile uses ADSL2+ lines, which are supplied by Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s fixed-line business T-Com , to transport HSDPA traffic from the radio access network to the mobile core.
According to Junowicz, T-Mobile has deployed hundreds of the gateways and plans to use them as the backhaul solution for its entire HSDPA network in Germany as well as other European markets.
"Wherever they have HSDPA networks, they will use our solution," says Junowicz. "HSDPA would be dead in the water without this kind of solution. It just wouldn't be possible."
T-Mobile has rolled out HSDPA, with downstream speeds of up to 7.2 Mbit/s, across its 3G network in Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands, according to a spokesman. The operator plans to deploy high-speed uplink packet access (HSUPA) -- which will boost the upstream data speeds to 1.4 Mbit/s -- across the German 3G network by the middle of this year. (See T-Mobile Deploys HSUPA.)
The first mobile operator to go commercial with RAD's Ethernet-based backhaul solution was Japan's 3G operator eMobile Ltd. late last year. (See RAD Wins in Japan.)"They were a Greenfield [3G] operator and had no GSM network… so they had to be profitable from day one from HSDPA," says Junowicz.
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung
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