On the eve of the Mobile World Congress, the Metro Ethernet Forum has updated and redefined the mobile backhaul, explaining ways to apply existing MEF specs and industry standards to future implementations of mobile services.
Entitled "Carrier Ethernet For Mobile Backhaul Implementation Agreement (IA)," or MEF 22, the agreement seeks to provide a practical migration path to 3G and 4G services while at the same time preserving legacy and backward-compatible services revenue.
"Ethernet is the only viable, cost-effective option for next-generation mobile backhaul networks," said Michael Howard, industry analyst at Infonetics Research, in a statement. "When you take into account the popularity of the iPhone and its clones, plus a new wave of other mobile devices including computer dongles, it's not difficult to see why the operators are under pressure to deliver a lot more bandwidth in highly competitive markets."
Mobile backhaul networks have been relying on TDM and ATM technologies, but they aren't robust enough to cost-effectively handle growing demands of mobile voice including data and video broadband applications. The answers, according to MEF, are carrier Ethernet services, because of Ethernet backhaul's rapid handoff capabilities between base stations in mobile networks.
Patrick Donegan, Heavy Reading senior analyst, said the MEF agreement will assist cellular network operators in addressing their backhaul requirements. Donegan cited Heavy Reading's "Ethernet Backhaul Quarterly Market Tracker" as a valuable resource.
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