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Mobile operators are now in the position to offer their services in increasingly remote locations with no loss of service or voice quality thanks to enhanced satellite networks.

 

Reaching further to expand market opportunities

Globally mobile operators are finding it harder to penetrate any more deeply into their core home markets. However, they are now developing new strategies to reach out to an estimated 2.2 billion people with little or limited access to mobile services and the rich applications that we take for granted. In many areas where a traditional infrastructure is limited satellite connectivity is the only option for transporting voice and data traffic to and from the population. The use of VSAT technology in remote locations has seen incredible growth over the past few years and this is mainly due to cellular backhaul.

10 good reasons for cellular backhaul via satellite

  • Overcomes  the lack of existing infrastructure
  • Cost efficient deployment
  • Rapid rollout of services
  • Increased service coverage
  • Enables full range of IP services from fixed telephony to advanced data
  • Introduction of IP has enabled a new wave of bandwidth reduction
  • Rural telecommunications are becoming profitable
  • Urban areas are reaching the saturation point
  • The average revenue per subscriber continues to fall in urban areas
  • The younger generation demands media rich applications even in remote locations

 

Recent studies have shown that the vast majority of new subscribers to mobile services come from the emerging markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This is because the demand for connectivity is high and an inherent lack of reliable legacy communication platforms forces potential users to look at the mobile offering. For the average user in these areas a mobile phone is their first and only way to get connected to the outside world and loyalty to the first provider is high.

In fact, Asia, Africa and Latin America are seen as the new battlegrounds for global mobile operators to build new networks and continue to grow away from saturated home markets. BusinessCom cellular backhaul technologies in these areas provide the wireless operator with the technology to be more profitable and to be able to reach out into ever more remote markets and increase their subscriber base.

 

VSAT technology

The technological advances in the converged IP and mobile market show no sign of slowing down and suppliers are keen to leverage these cutting edge applications to attack new markets in an ever more flexible and cost effective manner. Microwave is typically used in urban areas, but this solution requires very high capital expenditure in remote regions, or may simply not be possible.  Fiber optic also has very high capital costs and, it may be difficult or impossible to get rights to lay cables near public roads or private property.  Leased lines are simply not available in most emerging countries; thus SCPC satellite links tend to be the traditional technology for cellular backhaul over satellite in rural areas.

Mobile operators have turned to VSAT services in the past to extend mobile connectivity to remote locations.  BusinessCom supports these circuits that are typically based on dedicated SCPC circuits to connect remote towers called BTS (Base Transceiver Station) to central aggregation points called BSC (Base Station Controllers).  Leveraging technology that optimizes capacity, removes silence frames, suppresses idle frames and optimizes signaling channels, BusinessCom can propose solutions that may reduce bandwidth by as much as 80% over SCPC.

Traditionally SCPC services used for cellular backhaul allocate bandwidth based on the maximum busy hour required for an individual BTS. If this bandwidth is not being used at any given moment, it is wasted and cannot be recovered.  Leveraging D-TDMA (deterministic time division multiple access) technology, BusinessCom eliminates the requirement for fixed bandwidth allocation and reduces operations expense by only requesting bandwidth from the network when it is required.  Thus bandwidth is allocated over the entire network and dynamically assigned to the sites that require it.

Another advantage for growth and planning is the ability to view the traffic across the entire network, rather than on a site-by-site basis, which is how SCPC must be viewed.  Often when one can view the capacity required by the entire network rather than just one site, the number of total channels required can be reduced.

In addition to cost savings, a key advantage is flexibility as the IP platform permits the easy introduction of new IP services to these remote locations, in addition to mobile voice.  Integrating with an IP satellite system makes everything simpler and more efficient.

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