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February 23, 2015updated 19 Aug 2016 4:02pm

SDN key to tackling mobile backhaul surge

Coriant survey sees mobile operators predicting the role of SDN in handling increasing backhaul demand.

By Alexander Sword

Mobile operators believe that software-defined networking (SDN) will help to address challenges with mobile backhaul networks, according to new Coriant research.

85 percent of respondents expected SDN to be live in mobile backhaul in the 2018-19 timeframe, with 74 percent planning to hold trials of SDN in the backhaul in the next two years.

An additional 63 percent identified different methods of optimising network routing as the main use of SDN technology.

SDN helps to increase service velocity and reduce congestion in the backhaul, which refers to the transmission of data to a point where it can be distributed over a network. Backhaul requirements have been growing steadily due to the increasing amount of consumer data feeding back into mobile networks.

The survey also found that operators expect greater use of IP/MPLS and predict the need for unbundled fibre access to handle increasing demand.

"This survey reveals that operators are positive about the potential of SDN in the backhaul and that optical networks are central to the next phase of backhaul evolution," said Patrick Donegan, Chief Analyst, Heavy Reading. "The coming years will also see specific services begin to drive backhaul network evolution."

The report surveyed 75 mobile operators from around the world.

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