Backhaul 101- Wireless Backhaul Explained

By Dudy Cohen 5 min read

Ever wanted to know what Fronthaul is? Let's understand what Backhaul is, first.

Watch the video to get the basic understanding of backhaul, what is it and where it fits into a mobile network architecture.



Hi. You know a lot of people are asking me lately, "Dudy, what's fronthaul?"

And I say, "Do you know what backhaul is?" And then a lot of people are telling me, "no, what is backhaul?" So let's start from backhaul before we go to fronthaul, let's do some Backhaul 101. I know it's very basic but let's set things straight.

In a mobile network, there is the access network and there is a core network. The access network is the base stations that talk to your phone and the core network is where the data is, is where the content you want to upload and download it from, everything that connects between the access part and the core part is backhaul. Now there are two ways to do backhaul.

Backhaul can run on fiber, optical fiber, that connects those sites to the core network and can run wirelessly, from point to point from where the base station is to the core network. And this is what we do.

We do wireless backhaul.

So when it comes to wireless backhaul or wireless transport link you need to understand that it's all about moving information from one point to another without any errors. We want to convey all the information from one point to another. We want to simply take some digital information from one side, and bring it to the other end just as it was.

How do we do it? It is much like talking. You know when I talk to Tanya for instance, I need several conditions in order for the conversation to be effective. I need her to hear my voice, so I need to speak loudly. How loudly? So with as much dB as my voice can handle and if she's further away from me and she does not hear me, I need to have some gain, some antenna connected to my transmitter in order to speak more loudly. So now she'll probably hear me. That is if she has good ears. If she doesn't, she'll simply attach an antenna to her ears on the receiving side and hear what I have to say. It's also good to have "line of sight", if she sees me, then she'll have better chances of hearing me.

Now when she is very far away and the conditions are not very good, then I need to speak more slowly, then my data rate reduces. This mechanism of speaking more quickly, conveying more information when we are in good communication conditions and reducing the pace of the conversation when we have bad communication condition is called in backhaul:

adaptive coding and modulation (ACM)|. We can reduce the amount of information in order to make it more understandable. So this is backhaul. You have the transmit side, you have the receive side, you have the transmit power, you have the transmit gain, you have the receive gain, you have the receive sensitivity, and you have the amount of information that is going on between the two sides. So now we understand what is backhaul.

So now the question is what is fronthaul? For that, we'll have another session detailing what is the difference between backhaul and fronthaul and why on earth does fronthaul need so much capacity.

Stay tuned. Thank you for watching. Bye bye.

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