[AusNOG] Mobile Data Capacity - Where's the bottleneck?

John Edwards jaedwards at gmail.com
Tue Mar 31 16:15:25 EST 2020

Dark fibre to cell sites opens up more possibilities than just bandwidth.

Potentially the raw analogue waves from antennas can be re-modulated onto
DWDM wavelengths and then digitally [de]modulated in a datacenter.

This makes the whole process more efficient, reducing power and weight
requirements of components on-site, which means that existing towers can
carry more stuff. It also means that DSP resources that might be
intermittently used by a stadium or university campus can be re-allocated
somewhere else when they're not in use (there are a finite number of
customers on the network, after all). If the system needs a hardware update
to a new protocol, it only needs to happen at the datacentre, not by
ripping and replacing DSP's at the top of a 30M tower.

Once the industry is comfortable with that step, it can then start using
adjacent cell sites like MIMO antennas. No more need to roam to nearby
towers because you're already associated with them, no "hidden node"
problem, and spatial stream capabilities that allow for massive spectrum

For added value, they might even modulate the same 20Mhz analogue signal
multiple times in the same wavelength. By slightly varying the phase of the
duplicated signals into an array of antennas, it might be possible to get
an electrical tilt effect in the antennas without any additional active
components on-site.


On Tue, 31 Mar 2020 at 11:33, Dave Taht <dave.taht at gmail.com> wrote:

> It is certainly my hope more will also deploy bufferbloat fighting
> solutions at various points.
> Typical cell bufferbloat is in the 1.6 second range, and would be
> worse if various protocols didn't just time out....
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