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In many emerging markets, especially landlocked countries in Africa and Asia, international uplink connections are still prohibitively expensive for many operators. This is due to the limited return-on-investment (ROI) of deploying fiber networks to markets where it will take considerably longer for transmission cable operators to cover the deployment cost. If fibre is available, usually another infrastructure project such as a pipeline for oil or water is used as the carrier for the optical cable.ethernet-1826 640


Spare bandwidth capacity is sold by the pipeline line operator. However, in many nations, Satellite uplink/downlink connectivity for telephony and data services, and legacy copper based infrastructure is still the primary methods of communications. Optimising bandwidth utilisation is critical for those operators dependant on this type of technology to ensure as much of the content distribution is delivered locally. Latency (round trip delay) is a major problem for this type of technology.


Legacy telephony networks are built around E1 technology. Each E1 circuit consists of a bearer which carries 2048 Mb of data or voice traffic. Each E1 carries 31 time slots or channels and each telephone call requires 64K of bandwidth allocated to each call. In addition, depending on the size of the network, one or more interfaces must be used for signalling.


If the operator were to upgrade its interconnect network to an IP- based NGN infrastructure, the number of trunk calls could easily be doubled using the same bandwidth as the legacy TDM network. Many emerging markets suffer from two problems when it comes to telecommunications. A massive population and poor interconnect and distribution infrastructure.


Taking advantage of compression techniques for both voice and data is critical to maintaining a volume based business in these regions. For data connections, the answer is much easier. Content caching servers operating between layers 4 and 7 can reduce the fetching of frequently accessed user content from international websites by up-to 80% in some cases.However, content caching is completely ineffective on user generated content being uploaded to international web servers. Such is the case with social networking sites, where increasingly users are uploading videos and high resolution photographs.

Capped Pricing Plans

Even in developed markets, the days of the unlimited downloads seem limited. Service providers either cap or penalty charge subscribers who use service beyond their monthly download contract. This model when used with advanced content caching, can help operators recover infrastructure cost revenue rapidly, and save on limited bandwidth resources.

Mixing Interconnect Sources

Bandwidth saving can also be realised by mixing interconnect sources. By implementing an asymmetrical access solution using satellite broadband for download and legacy interconnect for upload, operators can offload http and non-time sensitive traffic to cheaper satellite access. This will improve the response time of the network in the same process.

Voice calls are also getting the same treatment during off peak time when latency is low. Voice calls are routed over IP internet connections and during peak time routed by TDM circuits, the operator can price its call tariffs according to when peak period occur in the network.


By Angela Sutherland



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