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New report from Real Wireless highlights PMP's cost reduction potential for backhaul

Date: 19th January 2016
Topic: News
Author: Laurence Doe
Backhaul, Real Wireless, cellular, point-to-multipoint

Real_Wireless_Logo_RGB_HiRes.gifThe latest findings from independent wireless experts Real Wireless have revealed that point-to-multipoint (PMP) last-mile solutions can reduce backhaul total cost of ownership (TCO) by as much as 50 per cent and generate nearly double the return on investment (ROI) for enterprise access.

The study, which examines the cost and time to breakeven of last mile data transport in multiple deployment scenarios, looks at the TCO of installing and running backhaul networks based on a range of wired and wireless technologies. Analysis found that site-related costs dominate TCO, accounting for around half of a five year TCO. The report revealed PMP solutions offered up to 50 per cent TCO savings over point-to-point (PTP) and managed fibre, largely due the aggregation of multiple links to a single hub site.

For the study, Real Wireless modelled a case study of an ISP, building out a network to supply carrier-grade connectivity to enterprises. It found that PMP microwave and sub-6 GHz resulted in the fastest time to break even, potentially enabling an ISP to connect 67 per cent more customers and generate 1.8x higher ROI compared to PTP equivalents. 

The report also highlighted the increased revenue possible with PMP at licensed microwave frequencies, showing this can generate a further 30 per cent higher ROI than PMP in sub-6GHz bands. The increased revenue of PMP microwave was due to its ability to offer both higher capacities and a superior grade of service than its unlicensed equivalent. The ISP model can equally apply to a mobile operator’s network division, where the higher ROI equates to greater financial efficiency and more ability to invest in network footprint. 

Managed fibre networks, albeit scalable to higher capacities, were found to have a significantly higher TCO when compared to wireless approaches. PMP solutions were also shown to offer a much quicker ROI versus PTP solutions, because PMP lends itself to the sharing of hub sites and bandwidth between customer terminals. However, PTP links were found to more suitable for longer links and lower site densities. 

“The new report highlights the variety of last mile technologies available and how the right choice can almost halve a network’s TCO,” said Oliver Bosshard, managing consultant, Real Wireless. “It’s clear from the report that MNOs and ISPs should carefully consider the knock-on impact their choice of technology will have for their future revenues and growth. Particularly in enterprise deployments, operators and ISPs should look carefully at the latest available transport options to determine what will deliver the best business case.” 

Real Wireless considered a range of transport options for the study, including managed fibre, V-band and E-band PTP, microwave PTP and PMP and sub-6 GHz unlicensed PTP and PMP. The model includes not only the initial outlay for equipment but also the more significant aspects of installing and running it over time.

The full report is available to download for free from the Real Wireless website.

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