Vodafone Says Affordable Backhaul is an Issue

By Gary Kim May 27, 2014

It appears backhaul strategy is becoming more significant as mobile service providers make the transition to faster networks. The ability to use the middle mile and backhaul assets owned by cable operators were among the reasons mobile service provider Vodafone bought Ono and Kabel Deutschland in Germany, for example.

But Vodafone argues European Union regulators must do more to assure Vodafone and other new contestants that affordable backhaul is available. Specifically, Vodafone wants lower prices for optical backhaul facilities, and argues regulation might be the only way to assure such access.

Those issues should escalate, as wireless backhaul has been more prominent in European mobile operator backhaul strategy than is typical in North America. So, as demands for an order of magnitude more backhaul capacity grow, European mobile operators are going to have to consider shifting from wireless to optical fiber backhaul.

In North America, the switch is primarily from copper-based special access to optical Ethernet access, given the historic North American service provider preference for fixed network backhaul.

Nearly everywhere, competitors complain about incumbent telco advantages where it comes to ownership of backhaul and access facilities.

So “market power” tests will be relevant. Service providers without facilities will want access, at sort of low wholesale rates, to incumbent backhaul facilities, and incumbents just as certainly will resist.

Complicating matters, in some markets, is the growing availability of cable TV facilities that might be used, but not on a mandatory access basis. Typically, cable operators are happy to sell commercial retail access, but resist mandatory wholesale requirements.

But some might suggest that it is additional facilities-based supply which “solves” the backhaul problem, not wholesale policies, even if wholesale often is the only reasonable option in some regions.

Such calls for mandatory wholesale at reasonable prices are a never-ending part of the competitive telecommunications business, as new entrants frequently cannot afford to build their own facilities.

What is new is the salience of mobile backhaul access.




Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Modern Moms Shaping Influence

By: Maurice Nagle    7/19/2018

Everyone knows Mom knows best. The internet is enabling a new era in sharing, and sparking a more enlightened, communal shopping experience. Mommy blo…

Read More

Why People Don't Update Their Computers

By: Special Guest    7/13/2018

When the WannaCry ransomware attacked companies all over the world in 2017, experts soon realized it was meant to be stopped by regular updating. Even…

Read More

More Intelligence About The New Intelligence

By: Rich Tehrani    7/9/2018

TMC recently announced the launch of three new artificial intelligence events under the banner of The New Intelligence. I recently spoke with TMC's Ex…

Read More

Technology, Innovation, and Compliance: How Businesses Approach the Digital Age

By: Special Guest    6/29/2018

Organizations must align internally to achieve effective innovation. Companies should consider creating cross-functional teams or, at a minimum, incre…

Read More

Contribute Your Brain Power to The New Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    6/28/2018

The three events that are part of The New Intelligence are all about how businesses and service providers, and their customers, can benefit from artif…

Read More