T-Mobile Starts Using DSL for 3.5G HSPA Backhaul

Unstrung recently reported that T-Mobile has started to deploy RAD’s Ethernet over DSL solution for backhauling 3.5G traffic from their UMTS / HSPA base stations. I wondered in the past how soon we would see something like this happening since current 2 MBit/s E-1 line rental costs are prohibitively high and several are required for the bandwidth requirements of a 3.5G base station. The article says deployment starts in Germany, where T-Mobile is the incumbent and has surely made a favorable deal with their fixed line branch, T-Com, who is in the process of deploying a VDSL overlay network besides the already existing ADSL/ADSL2+ network. As VDSL only works over short distances, T-COM deploys curbside VDSL cabinets every several hundred meters. With 52 MBit/s in downlink and 11 MBit/s in uplink, a VDSL link offers more than enough bandwidth for a base station with multiple sectors. Backhaul from the cabinet is also not a problem since they are connected to the core network by fiber. The article doesn’t say if the base station continues to use E-1 links for voice traffic or if all data is backhauled via the DSL link.