Market Trend

Spectral efficiency to lower backhaul costs

Backhaul spectrum, like other highly valued finite resources, is being consumed at a rapid rate.

With microwave spectrum congestion becoming a real issue in many regions, decreased availability and increased cost has meant fewer options for service providers looking to expand their spectrum footprint, according to Dragonwave, a provider of high-capacity packet microwave solutions. Furthermore, adding channels could have implications for the long-term viability of their business model.

For many service providers, spectrum licences already represent one of the largest recurring costs in their backhaul network, accounting for as much as 40% of a backhaul operator’s 10-year total cost of ownership, according to Dragonwave. Looking at future capacity requirements, where hundreds of megabits or more will be needed, careful spectrum utilisation planning will be essential in order to ensure the ongoing economic viability of these backhaul networks.

Despite the impact to the total cost of ownership, spectral efficiency is often a secondary consideration when evaluating microwave backhaul solutions, according to Dragonwave. These costs are varied according to ranges found in existing backhaul deployments, illustrating the potential impact that each can have (positive or negative) to the operator’s total cost of ownership.