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What "Backhaul" Means


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NOTE: This thread was closed by the S4GRU Admin. The content of the post below is one members interpretation of backhaul, and not how S4GRU would describe backhaul. The post should be treated as an opinion and not as fact.


Alright so this thread is for any new users to the site who do not already know what "Backhaul" means, which im sure a good bit of you have already heard of this lol.




Backhaul is one factor in how fast data speeds can be on a mobile network. Backhaul means sending data over an "out of the way" route, usually meaning to allow data to travel quicker or for less expensive data transfer costs. Think of it as a backchannel to a network. With data flowing more freely, the speeds for other network users will remain constant and uninterrupted, even under heavy data traffic.




Backhaul is usually achieved by installing fiber optic cables to the cell site. Fiber optics tend to be a better electrical transmitter than standard cable setups. On towers, singlemode and multimode fiber appear mostly in tower setups. Usually as well, singlemode fiber carries more bandwith than multimode fiber connections can. So what does this mean? It means that backhaul has some quite technical aspects. Many think that backhaul is just a simple cable swap, but in reality, the technology behind backhauling a mobile network is very extensive. Not only is this good for the company, but it is also good for the users who demand better network efficiency, as well as faster, more constant data speeds. Also, just as a sidenote, backhaul is a huge factor on LTE networks. I will put this as simple as possible: If an LTE network is deployed without the appropriate backhaul upgrades, the network will crawl, especially under heavy data traffic. The same applies to backhauled 3G networks (Known as HSPA+), which is one of the reasons why AT&T and T-Mobiles HSPA+ networks suffer with such terrible data speeds in some areas.


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I think this is more confusing than what it's worth, and you should really rethink it in it's entirety.  The premisses is good, but (and I hate to say it, since I couldn't do any better) poorly thought out.  What really got me is the use of Fibre and and electrical transmission. Fibre is light transmission over plastic/glass and electrical requires conductive metal. And backhaul may not always be fibre, but other means as well, microwave and copper pair.  

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In laymans terms, I think the best way to describe backhaul is;


Backhaul is the 'interstate' that connects the cities (cell sites) to each other. It is the (typically) high speed interface with minimal onramps/exits.


Multiple 'backhauls' tend to congregate at the 'interchange' (ie regional gateway). Interchanges allow the high speed handoff from one 'interstate' to another 'interstate' in order to forward the data to final destination.


Data may travel along several interstates and through multiple interchanges before reaching that destination, even if that destination may be physically closer than the network route.


Similar how it is sometimes faster to take the longer interstate route (at higher speed), than going through a shorter downtown heavy/slow traffic route.

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Someone's using the Queen's English. See the EE spelling of "fibre" in promoting their fiber to the curb product.




No problem with that, but the explanation is very confusing.


Backhaul, in the context of mobile, is simply the data connection used by a mobile provider to move voice and data from their core network to the node where service is broadcast.



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heh, sorry, I've been doing SAN storage for over 10+ years and I've always spelled it fibre.  Not sure why.  It just stuck in my head.  around these parts it pretty much interchangeable.   Yeah.. in SAN.. fibre channel ... but the it is a fiber cable.. my apologies for the wrong spelling, but no matter the spelling.  It is the transmission of light over some medium (plastic/glass) not electrical over a conductive medium

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This thread, while good intentioned, has to be closed. It is so riddled with inaccuracy and confusion that it is not helpful. I don't want anyone to Google backhaul, end up in this thread and think this is an official S4GRU definition of backhaul.


I'm sorry, rwhittaker13. Nothing personal. But this does not quite meet the level of a helpful terms definition thread.


Robert via Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4 Beta



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This topic is now closed to further replies.

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