“Multi-xHaul Segment Support is an Essential Buying Criteria in 5G Cell Site Gateways”
The importance of support for any xHaul segment in a 5G cell site gateway stood out as one of the key insights related to 5G xHaul in RAD’s recent survey of 100 communications service providers (CSPs) around the world.
RAD, the leader in mobile xHaul and Network Edge solutions, commissioned the survey, which was conducted by Global Surveyz. In it, industry professionals shared their thoughts on 5G transport challenges and buying criteria.
Nearly half – 45% – of respondents cited physical interfaces supporting any xHaul segment – fronthaul, midhaul, and backhaul – as the most important cell site gateway (CSG) buying criteria. About a third – 30% – voted for flexibility to support future 5G standards with a field-programmable chip.
“Most service providers haven’t mapped out their xHaul strategy yet, and 5G standards are still evolving, but CSPs are pressured to roll out 5G services now to avoid being left behind,” says Ilan Tevet, Vice President Marketing and Business Development at RAD. “That is why flexibility is critical in xHaul solutions that are future-proof so that they don’t need to be replaced later on.”
Another insight is that there are regional differences in 5G xHaul perceived challenges by CSPs. While timing synchronization is the highest-cited challenge in Europe (37% compared to 20% in North America), bandwidth demand is most prominent in North America (33% compared to 17% in Europe). This differentiation indicates that Europe sees 5G as an opportunity for smart cities, utilities, transportation, and other applications that need stringent timing synchronization. In North America, CSPs see enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and fixed wireless access (FWA) as the killer applications, rather than smart-X.
“Access network operators are faced with numerous configurations of fronthaul, midhaul, and backhaul when seeking to optimize their RAN transport network,” says Rick Talbot, principal analyst for transport services at ACG Research. “Compounding their decision is that applications supported by 5G connections will evolve, potentially requiring additional transport features in the RAN. Rather than employ a specific transport device for each configuration or a demanding new application, these operators prefer a single transport device that offers feature flexibility.”
“We’re very proud that our CSG addresses service provider needs so accurately,” concludes Tevet. “RAD’s all-in-one CSG fits any xHaul strategy, and since it’s FPGA-based, it allows remote, on-the-fly upgrades to meet the evolving 5G standardization and use case evolution without requiring field replacement or on-site technicians.”