Connecting the next two billion

Analyst forecasts indicate that around two billion more mobile subscribers will be added to the global market by 2013, with rural customers in emerging markets accounting for a majority of this growth.

As mobile operators in these regions struggle to profitably expand their networks into remote areas, there is evidence of a trend towards the use of satellite networks to cost-effectively backhaul voice and data traffic, as well as a shift toward an all-IP network infrastructure to achieve greater operational efficiencies.

Industry analyst Informa, which published a research paper commissioned by satellite-based IP technology firm iDirect, found that operators are realising the advantages of Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) satellite networks as an alternative to microwave towers, Single Channel Per Carrier (SCPC) satellite connectivity and other conventional forms of mobile backhaul.

The research reveals that TDMA networks enable operators to reduce operating costs by allocating shared satellite capacity across multiple remote sites, with operators implementing IP-based backhaul networks realising bandwidth savings of up to 40 per cent.

According to Informa estimates around 58 per cent of operators worldwide currently deploy satellite backhaul technology, and 80 per cent plan to expand their basestation sites further into remote areas in the next five years, with TDMA-based infrastructure accounting for the majority of growth.

Moreover, 83 per cent of carriers have begun implementing IP technology, with major benefits listed including offering internet access, supporting a broad variety of mobile data services and creating a single unified network to lower operating costs, minimize technical complexity and increase network efficiency. “Both remote and rural areas present a huge opportunity for mobile operators. TDMA backhaul is giving mobile operators a tool to cost effectively reach new subscribers, expand coverage and maintain organic growth beyond urban areas,” Informa said.

One comment

  1. Avatar T Stein 17/11/2009 @ 1:09 pm

    the Analyst forecasts r hopeful! the stellar use of sat.lite networx & cost-effective backhaul, IP infrastructure is supportive but does not solve the most vexing and challenging problem in the cellular operator world today… How 2 earn when there is nothing to spend? LCH initiatives r also mute when u have no way 2 pay 4 access. It is the cost of the service that is prohibitive not the hardware. How do the network bean counters figure out ways to profit from the unprofitable? Connecting the nxt 02bn who can barely afford to feed themselves let alone feed a phone is the bn$ Q and not 1 that low cost infrastructure can solve (alone)! In doing the math the real parameter missing in their equations is behavioral rather than computational…The Prepaid wave in cellular is over – law of diminishing returns is in play: every1 who can afford a cell and service already has 1 (industry sold a billion handsets last year but netted less than 500mil new subs globally). … the cellular bubble is it costs more and more to acquire customers who have less and less to spend and all this exacerbated by rural spread. network gorillas can only differentiate on price.

    The megatrend is masses are using prepaid as pretext to calling. manually ringing and disconnecting (beeping) is : analog behavior on digitalnetwork: users cranking the handle and holding line. consumes 10s wireless spectrum. ties switches in knots. (c Donner Report)
    The final cellular segment r never going to be legitimate callers. 3rd wave is the one market where conversion to paying (beeping) customer threatens the survival of the host.
    Operators need 2 look beyond infrastructure 4 the real answer and take hard look @ the market they addressing. Must Freeze the voice tariff decline. There is a smarter way 2 d0 this. A very smart way in.deed and in need:-)

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