RAD Unveils RICi-16 Combo Mux for Backhaul

RAD Data Communications has unveiled its new RICi-16, a combination Ethernet, E1/E3 multiplexer that utilises circuit bonding to provide a flexible allocation of bandwidth over either channelised E3 or up to 16 E1 lines.

With the surge in 3G data services, cellular operators are already feeling mounting pressure to augment backhaul bandwidth. Recently, these operators as well as backhaul transport providers have begun to use GFP-compliant circuit bonding to deliver Ethernet services, along with traditional voice services, to their cell and hub sites, which are already connected to E1 and E3 lines.

In a report released on May 8 entitled “Ethernet Backhaul: Strategies & Opportunities,” Patrick Donegan, the senior analyst at Heavy Reading, concluded:

By and large, mobile operators think of fibre as the preferred medium for delivering Ethernet service in the last mile. However, the cost of trenching fibre to the cell site can often demolish the business case for Ethernet backhaul. Because of this, and because of the rate at which HSDPA and EV-DO are being rolled out, mobile operators have to consider alternatives to fibre. Many mobile operators are examining Ethernet over circuit bonding and there is evidence of significant interest and the beginnings of initial roll-out commitments on the part of operators.

“RAD’s RICi-16 combination Ethernet, E1 and E3 multiplexer is perfectly suited for the emerging challenge with wireless backhaul,” states Shoval Bolotin, product line manager at RAD Data Communications. The circuit bonding function engineered into the RICi-16 creates a scalable, virtual large pipe composed of four, eight or sixteen E1 lines to deliver high-speed Ethernet using the standards-based GFP protocol. Any combination of E1s can be bonded and used for Ethernet transport while the remainder can be reserved for voice. “In this way,” Bolotin notes, “wireless transport providers can provide high-speed Ethernet bandwidth when ordinary E3 links do not exist or are otherwise unavailable.”

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