Heterogeneous networks (HetNets) have the potential to cater for the capacity requirements of mobile broadband services at reduced cost and energy consumption levels. One key aspect in HetNets is the role of the backhaul. More specifically, it is crucial for a mobile operator to understand the impact of specific technological and architectural upgrades in the mobile backhaul network on the capital and operational expenditure (i.e., CAPEX and OPEX). This paper proposes a comprehensive methodology that can be used to analyze the total cost of ownership of a number of backhaul options based on fiber, microwave, and copper technologies. The study considers both a Greenfield and a Brownfield scenario and takes into account the mobile broadband capacity requirements for the time period between years 2015 and 2025. From the results presented in the paper it can be concluded that even though microwave and fiber will be predominately used in the future, the possible migration paths leading to such fiber- and microwave-based backhaul scenarios might be different, depending upon factors such as spectrum and license costs, time to deployment, availability of equipment, and required quality of service levels.
Photonic Network Communications – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 22, 2016
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