TeliaSonera Converges With RAD
Telia Company is deploying cell-site gateways from RAD Data Communications Ltd. , one of the leading players in the increasingly important wireless backhaul equipment sector, to backhaul 2G and 3G data and voice traffic over fiber-based IP links. (See RAD Intros Backhaul Gateway, RAD Syncs Backhaul, RAD Touts New Gateway, RAD Joins Backhaul Interop, and T-Mobile Ramps Up Backhaul.)
The deployment, in Finland, is notable for a few reasons.
First, it's "indicative of cellular operators starting to become more comfortable with the idea of supporting voice over Ethernet over fiber," notes Heavy Reading senior analyst, and backhaul specialist, Patrick Donegan.
Currently, many operators are using packet-based backhaul transport for data traffic only and retaining expensive TDM leased lines to backhaul their voice traffic. Those carriers, while dipping their toes in the packet backhaul water, are not getting the full operating cost benefits of backhauling voice and data traffic across the same packet-based link. (See Carriers Face Backhaul Conundrum.)
Second, RAD won the deal "against a competitor with a strong local presence." The deployment is in Finland, home to Nokia Networks , which offers its own backhaul solution as well as that of microwave partner Ceragon Networks Ltd. (Nasdaq: CRNT). (See Nokia OEMs Ceragon Microwave.)
Third, RAD noted that one of the keys to winning this deal was its "ability to quickly integrate" with TeliaSonera's existing IP backbone network, built using Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) 7600 routers.
RAD also stressed the importance of enabling accurate clock synchronization, something that's key to maintaining the quality of voice traffic over a packet-based backhaul connection. Clock synchronization is one of the major challenges facing the backhaul vendor community, and one of the major concerns of operators considering their backhaul deployment strategies. (See Anything But Convergence in Backhaul Synchronization.)
The mobile backhaul sector is one that's set to grow as mobile operators look for greater cost efficiencies as data traffic volumes increase, and that means there's increasing competition in the market from some of the industry's big hitters. (See AlcaLu Plugs Its Backhaul Hole, Cisco Raises Ethernet Backhaul Stakes, and ECI Targets Wireless Backhaul, OSS.)
According to the CEO of Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA), which just landed a role in BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s 21CN plans courtesy of its backhaul technology, the mobile backhaul market is set to grow in value from about $1.3 billion this year to about $5 billion in 2011. (See Tellabs Joins 21CN Ranks.)
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading