Insights

Fronthaul, Backhaul, and Anyhaul

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5G networks are not just a faster 4G/LTE, they are transformational for how businesses operate. 5G is architecturally new in that it will support 100X the throughput of LTE and up to 1 million devices in just less than a half a square mile.

People in general have a thirst for the internet. This thirst is driving a brand-new architecture to address the need for increased bandwidth, increased number of connected devices, as well as decreased latency and costs.

With 4G, the Radio antenna and baseband unit were co-located, which is inhibitive to scaling bandwidth and device connectivity. 4G/LTE improved the situation by having towers communicate directly with each other for connections, which helped it scale. However, this improvement did not scale enough resulting in an overload of the spectrum.

The 5G architecture moved the Baseband Unit away from the antenna providing a scaled solution with a Distributed unit (DU) and a Centralized Unit (CU). These new functions are needed to be close enough to the antenna to manage connections with high reliability and ultra-low latency, thus driving the requirements of the 5G fronthaul network.

One the main changes in 5G is this disassociating of the Baseband Unit (BBU) into three parts: Central Unit (CU), Distributed Unit (DU), and Remote Radio Unit (RRU). New protocols, such as eCPRI and Radio over Ethernet, have been defined to interconnect those units. In a 5G cloud RAN the DU is hosted in an Edge cloud datacenter or central office, whereas the CU can be collocated with the DU or hosted in a regional cloud data center. Demands for fast application access and response time have driven the movement of applications to the local cloud.

Anyhaul

Just as the demand for application with reliability and low latency is needed for 5G, the need is also extending to the network in general. Whether it’s an enterprise or a hospital or a manufacturing floor, there are users for applications. Applications are getting more sophisticated requiring more data with high reliability and low latency.

Network designs for 5G can be simplified by having one network that can provide ultra-reliability and ultra-low latency to handle the needs of fronthaul, mid-haul, backhaul and the core.

Anyhaul represents a converged network that supports traffic typically of the Fronthaul, midhaul, and Backhaul/Core. With Anyhaul you have one network that can communicate with all aspects with minimal latency and full reliability to ensure seamless connectivity.