The deployment of new radio access technologies always provides a good opportunity and timing to optimize the existing mobile front- and backhaul (commonly called “anyhaul”). The legacy systems (Long-Term Evolution (LTE), High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA), third-generation mobile (3G), second-generation mobile (2G)) already extensively utilize the transmission and transport capacities of the mobile anyhaul. With the current launch of 5G (fifth-generation mobile) and recent LTE-A (Advanced Long-Term Evolution), additional new transmission capacities are required again. Depending on the traffic and network topology, additional cell sites are built, and even more locations are connected with fiber optics. The existing microwave and millimeter-wave links are rotated toward those aggregation points that already have optical-fiber access. Due to the increased cell-site density, the average distance of the radio access links can be reduced by network and topology optimization. The reduced hop lengths combined with adaptive modulation and automatic power control bring an opportunity for capacity increase in shortened radio links. Links newly deployed for 5G find a wide spectrum in the millimetric V, E, W, and D frequency bands. This paper discusses the availability and hop-length targets of the anyhaul links that should be carefully kept by proper planning and monitoring.
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