Cellular Backhaul and Trunking

Today, more than half of the world’s population still does not have access to the Internet. The opportunity for expansion of the number of sites that could be economically served using satellite cellular backhaul from current levels of coverage is huge.

Mobile operators require reliable service (QoS and QoE) to easily extend connectivity and integrate seamlessly with their terrestrial networks. Cost efficiencies are key to connect the lower ARPU regions. MNOs are looking for multiservice capabilities, access to multiple market verticals, and scalable solutions for large point-to-multipoint networks and for demanding high-speed trunks.

Cellular Backhaul and Trunking
  • Cell Backhaul Overview

    ST Engineering iDirect, a leader in satellite ground infrastructure and solutions for the cell backhaul and trunking market, helps mobile network operators grow their subscribers in previously unreachable areas, maintain mobile connectivity in emergency situations, and build 5G-compatible and hybrid networks that combine satellite and wireless connectivity for multiservice operations.

    Today, ST Engineering iDirect is one of the top three modem vendors in the satellite backhaul market, having deployed 80+ mobile backhaul networks. We hold the largest network, with 1500 cellular sites. Twelve of the top 25 telcos are ST Engineering iDirect customers.

    Our efficient, high-performance platform enables mobile network operators and service providers to cost-effectively manage a multitude of small, medium, or large networks, including 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE. We enable a high-quality end-user experience through advanced acceleration and compression technologies while maximizing an operator’s business profitability, encouraging the critical expansion of mobile connectivity around the world.

  • Cell Backhaul Applications

    To keep pace with growing demand and handle the massive amount of traffic coming their way, mobile network operators must look outside of their own networks. This is where satellite connectivity’s inherent capabilities, strengthened by recent innovations, can help mobile operators address key challenges posed by growing demand. 

    Mobile Network Expansion

    Considering that 4 billion people remained offline in 2018, there’s an incredible amount of room for mobile demand to multiply from 2G to 4G and feed the growth of traditional backhaul. These growth projections stem from advances in ground segment satellite technology and lower-cost access networks.

    Traffic Offload

    Satellite connectivity and hybrid networking can help relieve congestion in densely-populated urban areas where demand during peak hours is too high for terrestrial networks alone.

    OTT Content Distribution

    When satellite multicasting is paired with edge computing and local content storage for on-demand and bandwidth-heavy content, it can free up terrestrial networks for other traffic and save time and money over traditional unicast.

    Critical Connectivity

    With satellite connectivity, mobile operators can offer first responders and government agencies critical communications immediately following a disaster for first response efforts, ensuring relief teams can connect residents, coordinate aid, and maintain the continuity of government as communities recover. 

    Fiber Restoration/Backup

    Satellite is the ideal solution to provide backbone connectivity to regions that have no access to a fiber or undersea cable infrastructure, or when the backbone link needs to cross regions that cannot be secured. It is also the fastest method to recover from a loss of connectivity due to a cable failure or natural disaster.

    IP Trunking

    Satellite trunking networks provide local and mobile networks with access to the Internet backbone or to the mobile core. Providing IP trunking and backbone services to ISPs and telecom operators requires constant scrutinizing of the operational expenses due to a highly competitive market with razor thin margins.

  • Cell Backhaul Key Features

    Bandwidth Efficiencies

    Satellite networks have made significant gains in performance and efficiency through DVB-S2X and HTS.The use of the latest DVB-S2X standard and FlexACM® doubles the data throughput in IP Trunking and Backbone networks over satellite at optimal availability. FlexACM and DVB-S2X standard doubles the throughput over satellite in the same bandwidth, with the capability to combine different services (video, voice, data, internet access, VoIP, WiMAX, GPRS, 3G, etc.) within the same satellite carrier. 

    Superior Quality of Service

    Our bandwidth-allocation algorithm also allows for countless possibilities of Quality of Service levels, bandwidth management, and traffic prioritization. Mobile network operators can map their core networks to satellite networks to prioritize traffic and maintain distinct Quality of Service settings by remotes, bandwidth groups, and applications to satisfy Service Level Agreements.

    Layer 2 Over Satellite (L2oS)

    Mobile network operators can run an ST Engineering iDirect network in a Layer 2 bridging mode with high efficiency as an alternative to traditional Layer 3 mode architecture. By doing so, they can implement a variety of modern, converged network architectures; pass any Layer 3 protocols; and more easily integrate into hybrid network scenarios.

    Traffic optimization

    ST Engineering iDirect has developed the latest standards and techniques in acceleration and compression to achieve maximum throughput and efficiencies. By using compression, packet coalescing and GTP acceleration our system optimally handles multi-service traffic while ensuring network security with end-to-end IPSec optimization. Traffic optimization and compression is built into the Dialog platform to enhance bandwidth optimization for voice and data, while at the same time accelerating the traffic. For other product lines an additional solution is also available, called SatHaul-XE. The ST Engineering iDirect SatHaul-XE™ Optimization Suite is an advanced set of tools focused on TCP Acceleration features with TP optimization, IPSec for mobile networks, and compression for intelligent and efficient delivery of 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE traffic optimized over the links and integrated back to the core network. This can result in improved end-user experience and in bandwidth reductions of up to 30%. 


    A standard LTE implementation will use IPsec to secure all communications by authenticating and encrypting the data from the LTE eNodeB through the network to the Security Gateway within the Mobile Network Operators Core Network. Our system optimally handles end-to-end IPSec optimization with the use traffic optimization technics.


    Solutions are based on the MDM6000, leveraging DVB-S2, DVB-S2X and S2 Extensions. The MDM6000 combines a set of innovative technologies which help provide exceptional service quality at the lowest possible cost. The MDM6000 can be deployed in single SCPC links, but also in a hub-and star network with the Hub6000.

  • Cell Backhaul MNO Microsite

    Use Satellite to Close Your Growth Gaps

    Communities in remote, rural and ultra-rural areas can be brought online quickly and cost-effectively using cellular backhaul over satellite. Find out how MNOs can easily provide their current and future customers robust, seamless, instantly available connectivity. Learn how with our leading solutions, you can easily manage a multitude of small, medium or large networks, spanning 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE, and be 5G ready, all while distributing media cost-effectively and confidently providing emergency, critical and backup service.

    Visit our Cell Backhaul MNO Microsite>

    Cell Backhaul MNO