Mobile operators are moving to a small cell model, especially in dense urban areas where the large-scale macrocells can’t cope with the volume of traffic and the sheer number of connections. The problem is that all this traffic needs to be backhauled to the mobile core.
Since most small cells are in-building, the mobile operators rely on the building’s own wired connectivity to provide the backhaul capacity. One major example of building connectivity is the hybrid fibre/coaxial (HFC) networks provided by the cable operators. This provides the bandwidth and cost efficiency required by the small cell operators, but up until now, it couldn’t meet the synchronization or latency requirements.
Over the last year, a team at CableLabs, the cable industry’s technical standards body, has been working on methods to provide accurate synchronization and low latency connections over HFC networks. The first version of the synchronization specification has just been released, and is described in a blog post from the CableLabs website here.
Strategic Technology Manager, Calnex Solutions.