Converged Microwave Traffic Emerges in Africa

Aviat-Networks-Technical-Marketing-Manager-Siphiwe-Nelwamondo-discusses-Microwave-and-IP-Convergence-with-Engineering-News-January-23-2015

Convergence: Photo credit: rkimpeljr / Foter / CC BY-SA

In South Africa, as in many emerging markets, wireless backhaul has long been a proverbial bottleneck to network growth. Due to cost and logistics, fiber optic technology remains out of reach as a practical solution for most aggregation scenarios, save for urban applications where population density and shorter routes can justify the exorbitance.

Now with the advent of higher speed, higher throughput mobile phones and tablet PCs, higher-order networking technologies are being pressed into service. Standard microwave radio, while cost efficient and effective for crossing far-flung forests, monumental mountains and desiccated deserts with traditional payload such as voice calls and moderate data rate applications, was not designed for the connectivity and capacity requirements of Layer 3 services. Thus, the bottleneck has grown still narrower. Even to the point where standard microwave radio might be hitting its upper threshold for serving mobile broadband.

Technical marketing manager, Siphiwe Nelwamondo, recently sat down with Engineering News, to discuss these issues and the present and future of microwave radio backhaul in South Africa and across the continent. In addition, he delved into how microwave networking is bridging the radio-IP gap for Layer 3 services by running IP/MPLS protocols on converged microwave routers.

As more and more mobile services get pushed out to the edge of the access network, the imperative for Layer 3 will only grow. Even as 3.5G and 4G mobile users who depend on full-IP increase in number, a majority of second- and third-generation subscribers will continue to rely on circuit-based technology. Not to worry, Nelwamondo covers how TDM telephony will be supported in a converged microwave and IP environment.

The full article goes on to discuss how mobile operators will strategize providing enterprise services from the cellular base station with microwave networking, virtual routers and more.

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Managed Services for Emerging Markets – Dubai 2012

This time last week, we were participating in the Managed Services for Growth Markets conference in Dubai. The conference consisted of two days of presentation and panels discussing the latest trends in Managed Services for emerging markets. We heard how several customer organizations have leveraged Managed Services to improve performance, costs, and, ultimately, their bottom line.

This is similar to what we are seeing and hearing across our own customer base. There is a growing demand for wireless network services suppliers to take on more of the support and maintenance of networks. By outsourcing operational activities, our wireless customers can focus on perfecting the services they offer to their customers.

Our own Ross Gillett, Director of Services for the Middle East and Africa, participated on a discussion panel focused on how suppliers, such as Aviat Networks, bring value to their customers through Managed Services. Ross emphasized that specific knowledge of the local customer requirements is key in developing a successful solution. Whether it is a mobile service provider, low latency customer or a state agency—they are all basically looking for someone who can bring value to their investment.

The bottom line is that good partners focus on making their customer successful!

Emerging markets are an important area of focus for us and this particular event had strong support from a number of our existing customers as well as several potential new customers from these markets. We heard a number of presentations outlining some of the unique challenges customers and Managed Service providers have to address in this region. We also had a chance to speak with conference participants and share our experiences with managing multiple customer networks.

In our exhibition hall reception area, we had numerous opportunities to interact with suppliers, media and even competitors to share stories, challenges and where we see the market headed. These one-to-one conversations are the best part of a conference since it gives us an opportunity to share, on a personal level, how Managed Services are being leveraged on a broad basis.

We will definitely be returning next year.

Pat Davis
Director, Global Support Services

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