Mobile broadband expands its reach via satellite backhaul

Telecom operators can now provide 3G mobile broadband to isolated and under-served areas via satellite backhaul. The approach that makes this possible combines Nokia Siemens Networks’ I-HSPA with Evolution satellite routers from VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology. The solution, successfully tested by both companies, can deliver downlink speeds of 10 Mbps per user from base stations in remote areas linked to a core network via satellite.

“The growing demand for mobile broadband is making operators look for efficient ways of delivering services in areas with low population density where terrestrial transport networks are less economically viable,” said Keith Sutton, head of the WCDMA business line for Nokia Siemens Networks. “Our I-HSPA architecture, together with iDirect’s satellite platform, makes 3G mobile broadband delivery possible in such areas. In addition to services such as social networking and video streaming, operators can deliver telemedicine and remote learning, helping bridge the digital divide.”

Nokia Siemens Networks’ I-HSPA uses a flat architecture for 3G networks that supports voice as well as high-speed data services. By allowing base stations to connect directly to the core network, I-HSPA eliminates the need for the intermediate nodes found in traditional networks.

“With the adoption of 3G networks, the use of mobile data has grown exponentially and the mobile device is the primary form of connectivity for many people in remote and rural areas,” said Toni Lee Rudnicki, iDirect’s chief marketing officer. “Successful testing between iDirect and Nokia Siemens Networks’ I-HSPA has shown peak rates for satellite backhaul up to ten times higher than those achieved with other commercially available approaches to 3G. This is good news for those seeking true mobile broadband connectivity in hard-to-reach locations, as the Evolution product line can be rapidly deployed and provide a reliable satellite platform combined with the benefits of the I-HSPA architecture.”

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