LR Poll: Will Backhaul Be 5G's Bogeyman?

Could backhaul be the bottleneck that holds back the advance of 5G networks? Readers certainly seem to think that's a possibility.

In the latest poll on Light Reading's 5G site, we asked what the biggest obstacle to 5G is likely to be. All told, 174 people voted, 33.91% of them alighting on backhauling a super-fast wireless network as the most likely reason for 5G delays and obstacles.

This is entirely reasonable: Backhaul is the fiber, copper or microwave radio that connects the radio access network (RAN) to the Internet proper. The use of 5G calls for the deployment of short-range mmWave small cells in a manner never seen before, potentially using millions of radios. Even Siezo Onoe, CTO of NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM) in Japan (a country swimming in dark fiber), has said there won't be enough for 5G. (See DoCoMo's 2020 Vision for 5G.)

For all the latest news on 5G, visit the 5G site here on Light Reading.

The other big concern among poll-takers is the possibility of a battle over the 5G specification itself. Some 27.59% of respondents expressed concern about potential industry battles over laying out a clear 5G specification. (See Verizon Issues First 5G Radio Spec.)

Readers appear much less concerned about the issues of 5G spectrum harmonization, device availability and public health concerns.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

Amorphous 8/25/2016 | 1:54:09 AM
5G in backhaul Perhaps the operators can put 5G in backhaul and use 4G for RAN. That will help achive the full potential for 4G, and marketing can claim that they have a 5G network (technically correct).
mendyk 8/24/2016 | 11:06:47 AM
Re: putting the haul in backhaul 5G rollouts will happen regardless of the condition of the backhaul networks. But as 5G service expands, performance will be compromised without adequate investment in fiber access.
Kelsey Ziser 8/24/2016 | 10:42:03 AM
Re: putting the haul in backhaul @mendyk Do you think it's a big enough issue to delay 5G by a few months or years?
mendyk 8/24/2016 | 10:19:27 AM
putting the haul in backhaul There's no question that wireline infrastructure is essential to the continued development of ultrabroadband service of all types. There's a big question about whether there's enough revenue potential to build out the wireline infrastructure. If your car can go 200 mph but the roads are ziggy-zaggy and cratered with potholes, you're not going anywhere fast.

Siezo Onoe would be a good name for a band that plays in Williamsburg.
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