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Most service providers are building fiber networks or buying dark fiber for their mobile networks. Transport providers need to assure the fiber connectivity and to troubleshoot fiber issues quickly before mobile service providers identify the issues.


  • 5G will drive a large number of sites, which will require a large increase in access bandwidth and fiber. Ovum's research shows the number of sites required and alternative solutions beyond dark fiber that can provide greater value for the wholesale provider or tower company.
  • Equipment vendors, mobile operators, and wholesale service providers are exploring alternative solutions and service definitions for RAN transport with some coming to the market now.

Features and Benefits

  • Shows the number of radio unit sites and distributed unit sites
  • Summarizes today’s fronthaul and backhaul options for mobile service providers

Key questions answered

  • What is an enhancement to dark fiber?
  • What are the issues driving greater fiber connectivity in the access market?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • Densification and 5G will drive more bandwidth in the access network
  • New options for more than mobile transport
  • Service providers need cost-effective solutions


  • Further reading
  • Author