What is Backhaul?


Networking communications are growing with each day. With increasing network traffic, data needs to be ‘backhauled’ to the network core. This, in return, also causes more data and information to travel across radio antennas.

You may have heard the term ‘backhaul’ in transportation before. However, it is also used in communications. With the surge in network developments such as 5G, let’s go over the backhaul and discuss its future.

What does Backhaul mean?

The first order of business is to understand what backhaul even is. The term ‘Backhaul’ is mainly used in transport which connotes a transport vehicle travelling back to its original position after picking up a new load from an outbound area.

The entire idea is also quite convenient as in mobile backhaul connections, which, for the most part, steer modern day communications.

The concept of wireless Backhaul

Wireless backhaul is simply a term that refers to the transport framework that enables a radio access network or RAN to link with a mobile network’s base.

The connection between the provider hub and mobile tower is quite vital and is the primary component of a network infrastructure that is wireless.

Thanks to advancements in MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) and the virtualization of the radio access network (RAN), front and mid-haul ideas have been introduced.

Front and mid-haul enhance the typical backhaul concept. When all three concepts, front, mid and backhaul, are combined, they’re known as x-haul.

Are Backhauls important?

Amidst the advent of more innovations and technological developments lie two very concerning factors for backhaul networks; 5G and IoT (internet of things).

More devices are brought in every now and then that hope to take the ‘5G connectivity’ plan further. The output and reliability of the backhaul are put at the spot here.

Since it has to cope and provide better solutions to work alongside the massive demand for faster communications, backhaul is the backbone that can help every modern connection stay alive.

5G Backhauls and the future

So, is the whole’ 5G is too much for the current backhaul capacity’ a new thing? The quick answer is no. Every generation that has brought advancements in telecommunication has added pressure, a good amount of it too, on backhaul networks.

We can, however, conclude that 5G is not like those who came before it. For the most basic of 5G uses such as Enhanced Mobile Broadband (EMB), network slicing and function virtualization have made things possible within the front and mid-haul areas.

The configuration of 5G mid and fronthaul can be altered to meet better synchronization, bandwidth and latency needs in the future. This allows the burden to be significantly reduced from the 5G backhaul network.

Different Backhaul Technologies

The invention of coaxial cable wires, connecting the core to the mobile towers, allowed the earlier generation to see one of the most incredible advancements in technology.

Similarly, backhaul has excelled in media transportation, and its constant growth and use cases speak nothing different. Backhaul has remained at the top of its game with more usage and better additions to network infrastructures. Let’s quickly go over the current backhaul technologies we do have in today’s date:

  • TDM (Time-division multiplexing)
  • PON (Passive optical network)
  • Ethernet
  • Microwave
  • IAB (Integrated access backhaul)


Overall, modern day telecommunications are shifting at a rapid pace with each day. In a quick-paced development era, backhaul’s importance and use cases have to be kept in mind. To ensure a smooth operation between backhaul and the dawn of the 5G era, front and mid-hauls have to be incorporated, making sure that 5G does not stress backhaul networks more than it can handle.



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