June 25, 2020

Cellular Backhaul Webinar Recap – Authored by Semir Hassanaly, Head of Cellular Backhaul & Trunking at ST Engineering iDirect

Cell Backhaul Webinar Playback

Semir HassanalyBy Semir Hassanaly, Head of Cellular Backhaul & Trunking

Yesterday I had the pleasure of co-hosting a webinar with Jeffery Hill from Via Satellite on the Changing Landscape of Satellite Cellular Backhaul – my favorite topic of course.

During the Webinar presentation, I shared the growing importance of cellular backhaul in a world that is rapidly moving towards global 5G adoption. With many of the attendees being Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), I thought I would share my reflection from the event. Enjoy the read. 

A Changing Landscape  

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a spotlight to the necessity of ubiquitous internet connectivity. The need for connectivity has never been so massive: whether for land, sea or air, for people or for objects, the needs is also materializing for universal connectivity, everywhere, at any moment. It’s fueled with the new industry innovations, in the 5G, networking and satellite space, which are deeply changing the landscape. ​Mobile Operators are under intense pressure as they look for renewed profitability streams in a landscape that is changing dramatically. And they are under intense pressure to reduce operational expenditure and CAPEX, as users get used to flat rate tariffs and don’t wish to pay more.

A number of recent technological and business trends are making the case for cellular backhaul stronger than ever:

  • Small cell technology expansion
  • Increased affordability of data-enabled handsets and devices
  • Simplification of bundling and selling data services
  • Falling cost of satellite bandwidth
  • Optimization of Quality of Service (QoS)/Quality of Experience (QoE) and technologies for better performance

This is good news for MNOs as competition heats up in the backhaul market to provide high-quality service to more people in more places than ever before. One of the most interesting parts of the presentation for me was the insights we gathered from a study conducted with Via Satellite.

We asked the webinar participants, “What are the primary ways that mobile network operators plan to leverage satellite as part of a converged network?”

  • More than 90% answered “Expanding data coverage into remote rural and semi-urban regions;”
  • More than 30% also answered with fail-over networks, over-the-top video content distribution, comms-on-the-move, comms-on-wheels; and
  • 28% added traffic offload

To get further clarity on growth plans and priorities, we asked webinar participants to answer a series of live polling questions about their highest-ranking technical requirements when choosing the right ground segment platform.

  • Approximately 30% stated bandwidth efficiency;
  • 29% claimed network availability; and
  • 24% answered high throughput – of which we believe our platform is perfectly aligned to meet these results

I hope I have piqued your interest! To learn more about the satellite’s ground segment expanding role in mobile networking, stream our full webinar with Via Satellite on “Changing the Landscape of Satellite and Cellular Backhaul.