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Wireless & Network Systems

White Paper

Point-to-Multi Point (PtMP) for LTE Backhaul
pdf (468kb)
Executive Summary

The rise of 4th Generation (4G) mobile technologies, and primarily LTE, are expected to significantly challenge the architecture and performance of existing microwave backhaul networks. The major increase in mobile network throughput, as well as the advanced features, such as the Self-Organising Network (SON), indicate that new advanced backhaul technologies are needed to refresh and optimize the end-to-end (E2E) network.

The required enhancement on the backhaul domain can be seen as an opportunity to proceed with structural changes, which would techno-economically optimize the network architecture, through the adoption of different radio backhaul technologies (PtP, PtMP, E-Band, unlicensed).

Almost a decade now, PtMP systems (i.e. from LMDS and beyond) are deployed as the optimum backhaul solution for aggregation Points of Presence (PoPs) in urban and dense urban areas. PtMP can efficiently suppress the equipment Bill of Quantities (BoQ) and the footprint of large aggregation towers, for the same link density, thus minimizing the capital and operating costs.

Moving toward the LTE era, a general concern around the various backhaul options (and their future-proof capability to support 4G technologies) arises. This paper presents concrete arguments on PtMP's readiness for LTE and its continuing superiority over other options (i.e. PtP) for aggregation sites.

More importantly, Intracom Telecom's PtMP technology is not only a future-proof solution, but it also provides additional monetary advantages.

This paper addresses the following important topics:

  • LTE architecture and PtMP positioning
  • LTE migration scenarios and impact on backhaul
  • LTE air-Interface peak and practical capacity
  • Backhaul design capacity for LTE networks

The study presented in this paper clearly distinguishes the difference between the LTE air-interface throughput capability and the actual backhaul capacity, which correspond to two different aspects in real-world mobile networks. An accurate estimation of the backhaul capacity is crucial to optimally dimension the backhaul network.

Since the notation of Base and Terminal Stations is similar for LTE (access domain) and PtMP (backhaul domain), a naming convention is followed. Hereinafter, the PtMP Base Station will be referred to as "BS" and the PtMP Terminal Station (backhaul / access interface point) as "TS". Accordingly, for the LTE, the mobile Base Station will be referred to as "Cell" and customers' mobile phones as "Terminals".

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