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ケーブル事業者の5Gバックホールとスモールセルの見通しと課題

Cable's 5G Backhaul & Small Cell Prospects & Challenges

 

出版社 出版年月電子版価格 ページ数
Heavy Reading
ヘビーリーディング社
2017年10月US$2,495
エンタープライズライセンス
17

サマリー

マルチギガビットモバイルブロードバンドの将来性がたしかなものとなるためには、5Gバックホールネットワークやスモールセル機器の幅広い普及が欠かせない。これはケーブル事業者にとって非常に大きなビジネスチャンスである。米国調査会社ヘビーリーディング社(Heavy Reading)の調査レポート「ケーブル事業者の5Gバックホールとスモールセルの見通しと課題」は、ケーブル事業者の最新のバックホールサービス戦略と、この市場のビジネスチャンスと課題を特定している。モバイル伝送需要に関心を示している米国のケーブル事業者と12社の技術サプライヤについても記載している。

In order to fulfill its promise of multi-gigabit mobile broadband, 5G requires an extensive backhaul network and widespread distribution of small cell devices. This offers a significant opportunity for cable providers. This report identifies emerging backhaul service strategies for cable providers, as well as current opportunities and challenges in the market. It also identifies 12 technology suppliers that have signaled their interest in working with U.S. cable providers on mobile transport needs.

 


 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARYPDF

5G mobile is a big technology with a big challenge. In order to fulfill its promise of multi-gigabit-level mobile broadband, 5G requires an extensive backhaul delivery network and widespread distribution of small cell devices.

When smartphones came into being, cable companies provided cell tower backhaul and carved out a significant revenue-generating business by supporting 3G and 4G mobile. With 5G, things will be different. While cable is well positioned to support 5G, the technical challenges are greater, the business requirements are tougher, the regulatory hurdles are higher and the competition will be stiffer. Verizon, in particular, has signaled its intention to build out its own fiber backhaul network, while Crown Castle, the largest U.S. cell tower owner, has been acquiring fiber network companies.

Cable providers are experienced in using fiber for transport and they have the means to disperse small cells or other antennas indoors or outdoors. In addition, cable providers and suppliers are exploring the potential for other technologies to support 5G densification, including using DOCSIS 3.1 on hybrid-fiber coax (HFC), which is better suited to provide power for small cells than fiber.

Cable's 5G transport prospects are muddied because 5G's roadmap is unclear. 5G is a technology in flux, complicated by pre-5G technologies, such as LTE-Advanced Pro, stringent technical requirements, conflicting timelines and fiber infrastructure investment requirements that Deloitte estimates at $130 to $150 billion. Most cable providers are adding to the confusion because they won't disclose how many cell towers they serve, while tower owners reportedly exaggerate the number of towers they own.

Adding to the conundrum, fiber may be the transport of choice for backhaul, but cable's HFC plant is better suited to power small cells. Yet cable's potential usage of HFC-based D3.1 for backhaul raises a debate over whether it can meet 5G's tight latency requirements. Cable WiFi hotspots, CBRS and other technologies could play a role in 5G transport, but they need to be proven.

Still, experts say there will be plenty of transport needs to go around. The end game is to create a high-capacity mobile fronthaul, backhaul and local access network that can dynamically manage increasing traffic demands and seamlessly handle new applications. The current "dumb pipe" of mobile backhaul must be upgraded to support massive communications by individual enterprises and complex local access requirements at the network edge.

Cable's 5G Backhaul & Small Cell Prospects & Challenges identifies emerging service strategies for cable providers. Further, it covers backhaul background, as well as current opportunities and challenges in the market. In addition, this report identifies 12 technology suppliers that have signaled their interest in working with U.S. cable providers on mobile transport needs.

COMPANIES COVERED

Even before 5G, to get to LTE-A Pro – and for cable to meet related, more stringent SLA requirements with MNO customers – backhauls will have to be twice as fast as they are now and there will need to be tighter synchronization between towers, according to Accedian, which is helping MSOs to virtualize their testing and monitoring infrastructure. The following excerpt shows the primary differences between LTE-A Pro and 5G.

Cable's 5G Backhaul & Small Cell Prospects & Challenges is published in PDF format.



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[プレスリリース原文]

Cable 5G Backhaul Forecast: Clear as Mud

Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Craig Leddy
10/16/2017
 
 
 
 
 

5G mobile is a big technology with a big challenge. In order to fulfill its promise of multi-Gigabit mobile broadband service, 5G requires an extensive backhaul delivery network and widespread distribution of small cell devices.

Enter the cable industry. Most cable multiple system operators (MSOs) in the US already are in the business of providing backhaul service for mobile carriers' cell towers. In addition, MSOs possess the plant and operations to distribute small cells to meet residential and business needs. Charter Communications, for example, says it connects more than 26,000 cell towers and is using test licenses to trial 5G small cells.

A new Heavy Reading report, "Cable's 5G Backhaul & Small Cell Prospects and Challenges," identifies emerging service opportunities for cable providers, including:

  • Contracting with mobile network operators to provide 5G cell tower transport services and small cell support
  • Offering small cell as a service to business customers
  • Contracting with enterprises to support customized transport needs, such as massive machine type communications (MTC), video distribution and enhanced mobile broadband applications
  • Using cable's network of fiber, coax, DOCSIS 3.1 and WiFi to support mobile densification
  • Using 5G transport to support cable's own video, broadband and emerging mobile services

However, the report says, cable's 5G transport prospects are muddied because 5G's roadmap is unclear. 5G is a technology in flux, complicated by pre-5G technologies, such as LTE Advanced Pro, stringent technical requirements, conflicting timelines and fiber infrastructure investment requirements that Deloitte estimates at $130 billion to $150 billion. Most cable providers won't disclose how many cell towers they serve and tower owners reportedly exaggerate the number of towers they own.

Adding to the conundrum, fiber may be the transport of choice for backhaul, but cable's hybrid fiber coax (HFC) plant is better suited to power small cells. Cable's potential usage of HFC-based DOCSIS 3.1 for backhaul raises a debate over whether it can meet 5G's tight latency requirements. Cable WiFi hotspots, microwave, Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum and other technologies could play a role in mobile transport, but they need to be proven, the report says.

Cable providers could face stiffer backhaul competition from Verizon, tower owner Crown Castle and others that are expanding their fiber transport networks, or companies like Sprint that plan massive multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) antenna systems, Heavy Reading notes. The Federal Communications Commission is seeking to ease the burden of local permitting requirements, but plans for new cell towers are rekindling unfounded concerns about public health.

Still, experts say there will be plenty of 5G transport needs to go around. The end game is to create a high-capacity mobile fronthaul, backhaul and local access network that can dynamically manage increasing traffic demands and seamlessly handle new applications. The current "dumb pipe" of mobile backhaul needs to be upgraded to support massive communications by individual enterprises and complex local access requirements at the network edge. The report identifies 12 technology suppliers that are supporting US cable provider's efforts.

Cable providers will need a flexible game plan that can accommodate the shifting market forces. They must upgrade their backhaul capabilities and find the best ways to use small cells to meet customer demands for reliable quality of service. Cable providers want to get ready for 5G. Is 5G ready for them?

— Craig Leddy, Contributing Analyst, Heavy Reading

 

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