BB Forum Unveils LTE Backhaul Specs

Broadband Forum announces specifications for MPLS in mobile backhaul in 4G/LTE networks

December 13, 2011

1 Min Read

LONDON -- Announced today at the LTE/EPC and Converged Mobile Backhaul conference in London, the Broadband Forum has published its new “Technical Specification for MPLS in Mobile Backhaul Networks” (TR-221), which is set to become a key enabler for mobile operators as they migrate from traditional TDM networks to packet-based transport technologies and from 2G/3G to 4G and LTE services. TR-221 provides a key resource to the industry as it gears up for explosive growth in IP traffic driven by new and enhanced devices on the mobile market, from tablets and smartphones to multifunction gaming consoles.

Based on recent mobile traffic forecasts put out by both Cisco[1] and Ericsson[2], growth in global IP traffic continues to rise exponentially and by 2015 is expected to reach around 81 exabytes (1018 ) per month: the equivalent of 20 billion DVDs, 19 trillion MP3s or 500 quadrillion text messages. Estimates also show around 15 billion fixed and mobile networked devices and machine-to-machine connections by that time. Mobile video is likely to make up around two-thirds of mobile data traffic, an increase of 35-fold from 2010 to 2015. For service providers this presents a significant challenge in ensuring that their networks are flexible and can handle such large volumes of data while delivering the necessary service performance and quality of experience to their customers.

Many operators are responding by migrating their mobile networks to next generation 4G/LTE and require a comprehensive and optimized solution for their backhaul. MPLS provides the unique capability allowing service providers to converge their disparate networks by combining TDM, Frame Relay, ATM, Ethernet and IP services into a single multi-service environment, merging their disparate 2G, 2.5G, 3G and 4G/LTE mobile networks into a single converged architecture.

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