Actelis Networks unveils new mobile backhaul technology at CTIA Wireless Expo

The ML700 ethernet access device is designed to helps wireless service providers ease strain on overloaded cell towers and networks by using existing copper-based infrastructure

Actelis Networks unveils new mobile backhaul technology at CTIA Wireless Expo

Actelis Networks today (8 May 2012) showcased a new ethernet access device (EAD) at the International CTIA Wireless Expo in New Orleans, which is designed to address the growing mobile backhaul challenge faced by wireless service providers. 

The new Actelis ML700 EAD will help wireless service providers ease the broadband capacity strain being placed on their networks. The company said that these devices are the first and only line of EADs that deliver up to 500Mbps of bandwidth with extended reach using standard EFM (Ethernet in the First Mile) bonding by utilizing DMT technology. 

EFM over copper-based network transport is a strong alternative to fiber, T1/E1 and microwave, as it operates over the existing copper infrastructure. The ML700 EAD delivers the longest reach with the greatest reliability and the most cost-effective solution for high-bandwidth mobile backhaul applications.

Actelis argues that as a result of the skyrocketing usage of smartphones and tablets, mobile backhaul networks are becoming overloaded because of bandwidth-intensive applications. The challenge of providing affordable backhaul is magnified when carriers deploy picocells, or other small cells, to provide service to small service areas. 

Clusters of these small cells can be an effective way to improve broadband coverage for business parks, hotels, shopping malls and downtown areas. However, the cost and complexity of bonding T1/E1 lines, laying fiber or using microwave for backhauling traffic from small cells can be inefficient and cost prohibitive. 

To increase backhaul capacity from the base station at the cell site, there have been three traditional approaches: add fiber; bond multiple T1/E1 lines; or employ microwave. In several cases, especially in less densely populated urban and rural areas, the cost of deploying fiber is prohibitive and takes years to recoup any investment. Bonding T1/E1 lines is also not economically sustainable or scalable to meet demand. For microwave solutions, ensuring quality of experience can be problematic, since line-of-sight is required to function properly. 

Joe Manuele, executive vice president of worldwide sales and customer support at Actelis, said: ‘Adoption of mobile applications and underlying wireless services is expanding at an unprecedented rate and customers are relying on services that deliver the experience they expect. This network overloading, coupled with significant growth in wireless traffic and customer expectations to have high-quality, 24/7 wireless service regardless of their location, is fueling broadband Ethernet over copper backhaul adoption, especially for small cell wireless applications, because they are more efficient, cost effective and carriers can deploy them immediately.’ 

Michael Howard, principal analyst and co-founder at Infonetics Research, believes that it will take a mix of standardized access options to provide ubiquitous high-bandwidth wireless services. EFM over copper solutions, for their standards-based efficiency, high-bandwidth capabilities and reach, will play a major role in helping carriers lower their cost per bit and enable a much quicker return on their network investment. 

‘We expect operators to spend $1.5bn on EFM bonded copper ethernet access devices in the next five years, as they increase the capacity to improve efficiency of mobile backhaul networks and business connections,’ stated Howard. ‘It's clear that growing numbers of service providers globally are becoming comfortable with EFM technology, and are taking advantage of its extended reach and capacity on copper in many applications and locations where fiber is too expensive for the return on investment.’ 

‘Wireless carriers are investing in expanded spectrum and bandwidth. These upgrades, including upgrades to wireless backhaul, remain an expensive and time-consuming proposition,’ added Actelis' Manuele. ‘Carriers are under increasing pressure to better manage costs, as consumers and businesses seek the best deals for voice and data plans. Utilizing EFM over copper technology for mobile backhaul applications provides carriers with a pragmatic solution that will help them control capital and operational costs effectively.’ 

Actelis, founded in 1998 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, develops and manufactures universal broadband solutions for telecom service providers, enterprises and municipalities worldwide.

Written by Wireless magazine
Wireless magazine

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