Ethernet is already becoming a force in the mobile backhaul market--if not a pervasively used backhaul technology, then at least a major influence in the future technical and economic realities of the backhaul capacity marketplace. The IP/MPLS Forum has already set about creating common industry specifications to help smooth the introduction of new backhaul solutions, and now the Metro Ethernet Forum is into the act.
As part of the MEF 22 program, the MEF has moved beyond issues of Ethernet and service quality to tackle backhaul deployment, looking to help create an environment of consistency in which Ethernet can thrive as a backhaul technology.
According to a Light Reading story, the program includes operations, administration and maintenance (OAM) specifications, based on established standards; class-of-service definitions; recommended practices for handling fault protection to keep up the reliability of the backhaul connection; and other specifications.
An Alcatel-Lucent official told FierceTelecom last week that while Ethernet is booming as a business service, some issues still need to be worked out for it to succeed unfettered as a mobile backhaul solution, one of those issues being timing and synchronization. The Light Reading story suggests that synchronization and other issues related to evolving LTE mobile technology, while not covered in MEF 22, will be addressed in future versions.
In any case, the mobile backhaul market is really starting to brim with activity, and word has it that FierceTelecom will be hosting a one-day backhaul event at Supercomm this June to help you sort it all out. Stay tuned for further details.
- Light Reading has this story
A Heavy Reading study last year found Ethernet-based backhaul lagging
The IP/MPLS Forum approved its mobile backhaul spec last year