Achieving Network Optimization, Cost Savings with IP/MPLS Backhaul Solutions from Alcatel-Lucent

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Achieving Network Optimization, Cost Savings with IP/MPLS Backhaul Solutions from Alcatel-Lucent

By Beecher Tuttle

Delivering high-quality, high-bandwidth business service connectivity at an economical price point is critical for today's service providers, who are being challenged by unremitting competition and ever-increasing subscriber traffic growth.

With this in mind, many forward-thinking operators have turned to Digital Subscriber Link (DSL) and Gigabit Passive Optical Networks (GPON) as access technologies for mobile backhaul (MBH) and business service delivery. These networks have been proven to provide high reliability and availability at a cost-effective price point using IP/MPLS backhaul.

The leading equipment provider in this space is Alcatel-Lucent, whose 7705 Services Aggregation Router (SAR) family provides an integrated set of DSL and GPON backhaul capabilities that can help service providers quickly and efficiently accommodate for business traffic growth. The portfolio enables operators to leverage their existing broadband access infrastructure, whether it be microwave, copper or fiber-based.

Operators can utilize the capabilities provided by Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) products to complement leased lines with DSL connections, or replace them completely using either DSL or GPON. The end result is the enablement of a high-performance network capable of addressing the increasing demand for broadband services, and without the need for a costly tear-down of existing infrastructure. The ALU mobile backhaul portfolio not only minimizes capital expenditures and operating expenses; it also provides unique avenues for innovative, revenue generating, value-added services.

The 7705 Services Aggregation Router family, "allows the promotion of business services and mobile backhaul transport via broadband access from a niche capability to a long-term, highly viable infrastructure for backhaul," says Alcatel-Lucent.

Alcatel-Lucent’s  success in the space has been well documented. The company was recently recognized as the leading global vendor in the Ethernet cell site gateway and Ethernet mobile backhaul router market for the first six months of 2011.

Looking to build on that success, ALU recently added to the family by unveiling new power-efficient, small footprint, high-performance 7705 SAR-M models, which ALU says provide additional network flexibility by supporting a variety of cell site access options.

"Alcatel-Lucent’s leadership in the mobile backhaul market combined with our deep understanding of networks operating in very different environments means that we can help operators evolve their offer to enter the mobile internet era and satisfy all their customers’ requirements," Philippe Keryer, President of the Networks Group at Alcatel-Lucent, noted back in October.

"The 7705 SAR-M forms part of our end-to-end mobile backhaul solution and complements our ground-breaking new lightRadio product family in supporting the swift delivery of the internet on the move, with the highest quality," he added.

Alcatel-Lucent says that there are two main scenarios where 7705 SAR-M can be employed with GPON or DSL infrastructure: the hybrid off-load scenario and the pure backhaul scenario.

Hybrid Off-Load Scenario

In the hybrid off-load scenario, service providers can continue to transmit voice and other mission-critical traffic over leased line infrastructure. Data traffic, meanwhile, will be moved to the more cost-effective DSL network. Or, operators can save even more money by migrating both data and voice and signaling traffic away from leased lines using the DSL combination module in the 7705 SAR-M. Essentially, the hybrid model keeps both options available.

Pure Backhaul Scenario

The pure backhaul option is the most cost-effective scenario. With this model, DSL or GPON network access links are used to aggregate all traffic to a DSLAM or OLT, thus enabling service providers to completely decommission their leased lines.  In either scenario, service providers can turbo-charge their networks while trimming their budgets.

With backhaul representing a substantial portion of the total cost of mobile networks, finding the right solution that is both cost-effective and provides increased performance has never been more critical.

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