Avoiding the 5G aggregation site bottleneck

By Dudy Cohen 5 min read

When it comes to 5G hauling (backhaul, midhaul and fronthaul), there are two main trends to which you, as a network designer, must pay close attention:

  1. Capacity explosion
  2. Network densification

This is not new. 5G means capacity, a lot of capacity, in all parts of the network – core, hauling and access (RAN). In order to achieve the fantastic outcome of more capacity to more end devices in more places, the network needs to branch out and get closer to the end devices. This is also an outcome of the use of higher frequency bands (i.e. mid-band and millimeterwave spectrum) in the RAN. Also, this network densification acts as a catalyst for the adoption of centralized RAN which, in turn calls for ultra-high-capacity fronthaul – a kind of a vicious capacity-densification-capacity circle.

These trends have a major effect on aggregation sites. First, there are more aggregation sites (as some 4G tail sites become aggregation sites). Also, in each aggregation site the hauling node faces the following challenges:

  1. More directions – due to 5G network densification, there are more sites connected to each aggregation site

  2. Higher capacity per direction – microwave link capacities range up to 8Gbps in a 5G network while millimeterwave link capacities can reach 20Gbps

  3. Multiple radio technologies – a mixture of microwave and millimeterwave becomes common in aggregation sites and even in the same link (a multiband configuration)

  4. Higher total capacity – the aggregation node needs to support capacities of multiple 10s of Gbps in a non-blocking manner

Those challenges are usually accompanied by a 5th challenge – the fact that the aggregation site is an existing busy site that requires a very smooth upgrade path.

Ceragon’s TCC-U – an easy upgrade path to 5G aggregation sites

If you currently have a Ceragon IP-20N or IP-20A node in your aggregation site, moving to 5G couldn’t be simpler. By replacing a single card and installing Ceragon’s new TCC-U, your node becomes a full-blown 5G aggregation node featuring:

  1. Virtually limitless capacity – 80Gbps (compared to 10Gbps in previous generations) of non-blocking switching capacity

  2. More high-capacity interfaces – multiple 10GbE, 2.5GbE and 1GbE interfaces on-board

  3. More directions – support of multiple directions and up to 16 radios per radio group

And, needless to say, the 5G aggregation node supports your existing radios and links.

Even if you do not have an IP-20A or IP-20N in your aggregation site, or if you are building a new site, the TCC-U will provide an excellent starting point for your 5G network.

Learn more 

Download the IP-20 brochure


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