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Mobile transport

Evolving transport networks to meet the demands of 5G

What is mobile transport?

Mobile transport connects cell sites with the mobile core network to enable proper radio access network (RAN) operation. It is a key building block for 5G networks.

Modern mobile transport networks can utilize different wired or wireless transport technologies, including IP, optical, xPON and microwave. They can take advantage of existing resources where available to provide converged transport for all mobile and fixed wireless as well as wired broadband access traffic. 

What is mobile fronthaul?

Mobile fronthaul refers to the transport network that connects the remote radio heads (RRHs) to centralized baseband units (BBUs) as used in 4G centralized RAN architectures or where 5G radio units (RUs) are connected to remote distributed units (DUs).

What is mobile backhaul?

Mobile backhaul refers to the transport network that connects 4G BBUS or 5G centralized units (CU) with the mobile core network. Additionally, midhaul refers to the link between the DU and CU in the 5G network.

Why does mobile transport need to evolve?

5G networks are enabling exciting new applications such as:

  • Cloud-enabled 5G gaming
  • Immersive event, venue and broadcasting experiences
  • Enhanced situational awareness with video analytics and drone surveillance
  • AR/VR-based learning, work instruction and knowledge sharing
  • Smart industrial operations enabled by digital twins, and real-time analytics

Mobile transport networks need to evolve to support demands relating to latency, throughput and reliability to deliver on these enhanced mobile broadband, ultra low-latency and massive IoT use cases. In addition, they must support architectural changes and innovations in the mobile layer. 

What does your transport network need to support 5G?

More access, capacity and density

With 5G, there will be many more radio sites that require connectivity. Your mobile transport network needs to be able to connect more devices in more places and support higher density and capacity.

You will need to provide connectivity to 5G applications hosted in public, private or telco clouds. These applications will consume increasing amounts of bandwidth on your network.

Support for new RAN architectures

5G supports different functional splits that enable flexible placement of RAN functions and make it possible to utilize resources more effectively. To make the most of this flexibility, your transport network must be able to meet the capacity, latency, timing and converged transport needs of distributed, centralized and cloud RAN architectures.

Mobile anyhaul

Mobile transport is no longer just about backhaul. Your transport network now needs to support mobile anyhaul - a fusion of fronthaul, midhaul and backhaul. This calls for cost-optimized, purpose-built access and aggregation networks that can interconnect radios, base stations and edge clouds.

Accurate and reliable synchronization

Most 5G mobile networks make greater use of TDD spectrum, which demands accurate and reliable frequency, phase and time synchronization. Some applications will also need more accurate synchronization.

Your mobile transport network must be able to distribute highly accurate synchronization to cell sites as a backup to GNSS or as a primary synchronization source where GNSS is not viable.

Network automation and orchestration

5G network slicing will enable you to use one network to meet the specific needs of many mobile services and customers. To get the most from slicing, you need transport network automation that can quickly set up the required connections between the RAN and core functions in different clouds and orchestrate mobile transport services on demand.

How does Nokia support mobile transport evolution?

Nokia offers a complete mobile transport portfolio for interconnecting the RAN and core. Our products and solutions are specifically designed to address the full spectrum of critical 5G requirements.

We provide programmable, end-to-end networking solutions that draw on our unmatched pedigree in mobile, microwave, IP, optical and xPON technologies. These solutions let you support fronthaul, midhaul and backhaul applications with an automated, software-driven fabric that interconnects mobile layer functions with appropriate transport service-level agreements (SLAs). 

With our mobile transport solutions, you can choose the technologies that are right for you and define one software-driven architecture that unites them all.

Find out how we can help

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