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Tools of the trade for small cell backhaul


The essential role of wireless technologies
Dr John Naylon
CTO, Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited Small Cell World Summit, 26 June 2012

Agenda

Whats different about small cell backhaul?


Wireless technology fundamentals Three tools for every toolbox Current CBNL small cell backhaul trials Conclusion
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About Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited (CBNL)


Founded in 2000

Specialists in innovative microwave backhaul for data-centric mobile networks


Leaders in the small cells backhaul space: Lead NGMN LTE Provisioning Guidelines project Leading Small Cell Backhaul Requirements project

Vice Chair of Backhaul SIG

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Agenda

Whats different about small cell backhaul?


Wireless technology fundamentals Three tools for every toolbox Current CBNL small cell backhaul trials Conclusion
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Whats different about small cell backhaul?


Location, location, location
Outdoor small cells arent in traditional locations Consequence: fibre is much less of an option

The numbers
Many more units to backhaul Consequence: sharing backhaul more attractive

The traffic
Fewer UEs in the cell, which means Less aggregation in the RAN, which means Peak-to-mean ratio of small cell traffic is higher Consequence: aggregation desirable in backhaul
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Traffic characteristics of mobile backhaul traffic


Mobile backhaul traffic is already quite bursty, because it is data dominated:
HSPA+ Macro Node B backhaul traffic
Peak: 23.31 Mbps Mean: 5.54 Mbps Ratio: 4.20 Mbps

Mbps

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Bursty traffic is hard to carry efficiently


Efficiency = mean channel utilisation 1 = = 25% average peak channel capacity peak to mean ratio
HSPA+ Macro Node B backhaul traffic
Peak: 23.31 Mbps Mean: 5.54 Mbps Ratio: 4.20 Mbps

Mbps

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Small cell mobile backhaul traffic is even burstier


Higher peak data rates (better user geometries); lower mean data rates (fewer users), so peak-to-mean ratio of traffic goes up, estimate for mature networks ~10:1, so dedicated backhaul link efficiency goes down to ~10%, so much more equipment running at much lower efficiency, so

CFO has a heart attack!


Western European small cell backhaul traffic
Peak: 31.17 Mbps Mean: 0.49 Mbps Ratio: 63.61Mbps

Mbps

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Agenda

Whats different about small cell backhaul?


Wireless technology fundamentals Three tools for every toolbox Current CBNL small cell backhaul trials Conclusion
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Wireless fundamentals: Capacity versus Coverage

Requirement:

Capacity
Aggregating 10 cells to a PoP requires 10 mean cell demand

Coverage
Cells in cluttered locations Uncertain LOS to PoPs

Implications:

High capacity high frequency Spectrum plentiful, inexpensive High frequency LOS only Coverage not uniform

NLOS low frequency Spectrum scarce, expensive Low frequency low capacity Very low aggregation factor

High capacity and NLOS capability are mutually exclusive requirements


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Wireless fundamentals: Point-to-Point versus Point-to-Multipoint


Point-to-Point (PTP) Point-to-Multipoint (PMP)

2 ODUs / truck rolls / rentals per link Zero aggregation on-air

1 ODU / truck roll / rental per link (+1) On-air aggregation Simpler single-ended installation Shared capacity Lower TCO per link

Complex installation Dedicated capacity


Higher TCO per link

PTP and PMP cost scales differently versus density


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Traffic fundamentals: bursty traffic and efficiency


Point-to-Point backhaul Multipoint backhaul

Cumulative Peak: 123.2 Mbps Cumulative Mean: 39.7 Mbps

Cumulative Peak: 77.9 Mbps

Cumulative Mean: 39.7 Mbps

Efficiency =

mean channel utilisation peak channel capacity

Efficiency = 32.2%

Efficiency = 51.0% 51.0 = 1.58 32.2


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Statistical multiplexing gain =


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The story so far


Given the requirements and the fundamentals of wireless technology, is there one size fits all backhaul panacea for small cells? a one-size-fits-all backhaul panacea for small cells? No (or not yet anyway).

Capacity
Aggregating 10 cells to a PoP requires 10 mean cell demand

Coverage
Cells in cluttered locations Uncertain LOS to PoPs

Edited by CBNL
High capacity high frequency Spectrum plentiful, inexpensive High frequency LOS only Coverage not uniform NLOS low frequency Spectrum scarce, expensive Low frequency low capacity Very low aggregation factor

Cost

Density

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Agenda

Whats different about small cell backhaul?


Wireless technology fundamentals Three tools for every toolbox Current CBNL small cell backhaul trials Conclusion
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Three tools for every toolbox

Non-LOS Multipoint
Capacity Coverage Efficiency Low
Very good, area coverage

Microwave Multipoint
High Good, area coverage Good Easy

E-Band Point-toPoint
Very High Point coverage Poor Hard
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Good Very easy

Ease of install and licensing


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Non-LOS Multipoint: use it when

Non-LOS Multipoint
Capacity Coverage Efficiency Low
Very good, area coverage

High Frequency Multipoint

Motivation for small cells is increased RAN High coverage (not-spots) rather Very High than capacity Density of small cells is low (limit of Good, area Point 12 sites per backhaul sector) coverage coverage Lower quality of experience acceptable Yes No Position of small cell is particularly adverse

E-Band Point-toPoint

Good Very easy

Ease of install and licensing


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Easy

Hard

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E-Band Point-to-Point: use it when

E-Band Point-toPoint
Capacity Coverage Efficiency Very High Point coverage Poor Hard

High Frequency Multipoint

Very high capacity sites (more like macro) High Very High Middle-mile solution when traffic is already aggregated Good, area Point

E-Band Point-toPoint

coverage Difficulty of installation coverage not an issue e.g. low number of sites Yes Easy No Hard
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Ease of install and licensing


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Microwave Multipoint: use it when

High Microwave Frequency Multipoint Multipoint


Capacity Coverage Efficiency High Good, area coverage Good Easy

Motivation for small cells is increased network capacity High Very High Good quality of experience is required area Good, Point

E-Band Point-toPoint

coverage Density of small cells is coverage high Yes Easy No Hard


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Ease of install and licensing


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Small cell backhaul toolbox summary


Fibre if accessible

Non-LOS Multipoint
Number of small cell sites

Microwave Multipoint

E-Band Point-toPoint

Low capacity Adverse location Cost effective

High capacity Normal small-cell locations Cost effective

Extreme capacity Middle mile Most expensive

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Agenda

Whats different about small cell backhaul?


Wireless technology fundamentals Three tools for every toolbox Current CBNL small cell backhaul trials Conclusion
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Current CBNL small cell backhaul trials


Building on years of macro backhaul experience, CBNL are actively trialling small cell backhaul with numerous operators and vendors

Metro WiFi

LTE Picocell Antennas

lightRadio

VectaStar Backhaul VectaStar Backhaul

VectaStar Backhaul

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Conclusions

Small cell backhaul is different: many more cells to backhaul, nontraditional locations and even burstier data Good end-user quality of experience requires much more backhaul capacity than there is low frequency backhaul spectrum

No single technology matches the requirements for small cell backhaul perfectly, so a toolbox approach is needed Multipoint microwave is a cost effective, rapidly deployable solution for small cell backhaul in many use cases

VectaStar from Cambridge Broadband Networks is the market leader in multipoint microwave

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