Effect of Backhaul Technologies on 3G Network Performance: A Case Study of Ado-Ekiti
In the past years, when wireless network improvement occurs from 1G/2G to third generation (3G), the rate in the use of real-time traffic oriented applications for voice, video and data increases. Consequently, the bandwidth to be backhauled from the cell site to the mobile switching center increases rapidly. 3G network is most prevalent in Nigeria with wide area of coverage. However, in recent times, poor subscribers’ mobile broadband experience is still the major challenge faced by many GSM operators. One of the major causes of this challenge is the use of wrong backhaul for radio access network (RAN). This lead to poor traffic throughput, high packet loss or frame loss at the cell edge. To overcome this challenge, the use of appropriate backhaul technology is crucial. Third Generation Partnership Program (3GPP) recommends the use of either asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) or internet protocol (IP) as the backhaul technologies for its RAN. This paper presents the performance analysis and the comparison of the ATM RAN and IP RAN backhaul technologies using six different 3G sites (with 3G base stations) located at Ado local government area of Ekiti State, Nigeria. The performance of each base station with different backhaul technology was evaluated in term of average maximum throughput per day. The effect of frame loss (for ATM RAN network) and packet loss (for IP RAN network) on traffic throughput were also analyzed. The comparison of the overall result analysis shows that the 3G base stations with IP-based RAN backhaul has better performance than the base station with ATM-based RAN backhaul.
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