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Networks & Service Platforms

Role of Software Defined Networking (SDN) in Bridging the Backhaul Gap



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Report Summary:

Mobile Backhaul is now recognized as a strategic element in network design and planning that directly impacts end user Quality of Experience (QoE). The addition of ‘Smart Backhaul’ can also optimize aggregation points, route traffic from multiple access networks over shared backhaul transport and guarantee end-to-end Quality of Experience (QoE) while lowering the cost per GB and reducing customer churn. In our previous analysis ‘Closing the Backhaul Gap’ we found that despite dramatic improvement in both physical transport and network technology there could be a $9.2 billion global backhaul funding gap between today’s levels of backhaul spending and the level required to deliver ongoing premium QoE as traffic demand continues to escalate. In this analysis – sponsored in 2013 by Tellabs and published at MWC 2014 - we evaluate the impact that Software Defined Networking (SDN) is likely to have on minimizing Operators’ Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) by delivering network load sharing and dynamic resources allocation that will reduce the ‘backhaul gap’ globally just under $5 billion by 2017. Further new SDN control and resource management will dramatically lower Network Operations Backhaul Expense (OPEX) by between 12% and 37% depending on the Region. SDN is a key element in closing the ‘Backhaul Gap’ and is essential to accelerate operations cost reduction and preserve operator margins.

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