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Back Haul (Telecommunications) – Definition

Back Haul (Telecom) Definition

In the telecommunication industry, backhaul refers to the part of a satellite network that serves as an intermediate between the main network and the small networks used for distribution to other smaller channels. The backhaul is the link between the network serving as the backbone for other networks and other sub-networks.

Also, the transportation of data or network between access points to the public is backhaul. Backhaul connects the central network to the individual networks or public networks.

A Little More on Back Haul in Telecommunications

Backhaul can be used in both the technical sense and commercial sense. In telecommunications, the backhaul has the responsibility of connecting other sub-networks or private network to the main source usually called the backbone network. In the business sense, backhaul means a data or network provider that offers quality of service (QOS) guarantees to the public of private users. A backhaul can also refer to the physical individual that controls and operates a connection.

The part of a network that is connected with the global internet and other core network access locations is the backhaul. It is often the middle network access or link between the end user and the core network access. A local WAN or WLAN connection is an example of a backhaul.

A typical telephone company provides internet service for users through backhaul. For instance, cell phones that are able to communicate with a cell tower serve as local subnetworks for those who use them. A backhaul however links the local subnetwork to the internet service provider’s network. This is often represented using a physical presence. Some networks are wireless while some have wired parts, a wired part of a network can also be described as a backhaul.

Available Backhaul Technologies

Backhaul services are categorized into wired and wireless. Wired backhaul is more expensive and difficult to more to remote areas due to capacity, reach and costs. Wred are often limited in terms of coverage unlike the wireless technologies that have wide coverage.

Certain factors must be considered when making a choice of backhaul technology, these major factors include capacity, costs and reach.  The wireless backhaul technology is cost-effective and offers a wide range of benefits than the wired counterpart which is why till today, wireless technology is still a better option compared to the wired.

Examples of backhaul technologies include the following; Free-space optical (FSO), DSL variants (ADSL, VDSL and SHDSL), Ethernet, PDH and SDH/SONET interfaces, terrestrial or satellite transmission, VoIP telephony, and a few others.

Many backhaul operators and managers exist, it is possible to lease a backhaul technology or capacity form one network operator to another. Although, this might mean that the link will be for a short-term usually to meet specific needs such as emergency situations, public events and others. Wireless technology solutions remain the most suitable and viable option among other backhaul solutions.

References for Back Haul

Academic Research on Back Haul

Truck backhauling on two terminal networks, Jordan, W. C., & Burns, L. D. (1984). Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, 18(6), 487-503.

Dynamic Vehicle Routing Problem with Backhaul and Time Window and Its Application in the Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) Trucking Industry, Zeng, K. (2006). Dynamic Vehicle Routing Problem with Backhaul and Time Window and Its Application in the Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) Trucking Industry (Doctoral dissertation, University of Cincinnati).

Factors affecting interstate backhauling of exempt agricultural commodities by regulated motor carriers: a first look, Pederson, L. E., HAMMER, R. M., & Casavant, K. L. (1979). Transportation Journal, 46-52.

Contractual form and market thickness in trucking, Hubbard, T. N. (2001). RAND Journal of Economics, 369-386.

Competition and value of service pricing in the trucking industry: Reply, De Vany, A. S., & Saving, T. R. (1980). The American Economic Review, 70(1), 181-185.

The effects of transborder trucking regulations on inbound trucks and the trucking infrastructure, Jones, J. T. (1999). Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, 173-183.

Minimizing Empty Hauls in Multi‐day, Multi‐depot Trucking, Arcelus, F. J., Eiselt, H. A., & Lin, E. Y. (1998). International Transactions in Operational Research, 5(3), 201-210.

PRIVATE FLEET COMPETITIVENESS: IS BACKHAULING AN OPPORTUNITY?, Mardon, A. (1997). Publication of: Saskatchewan University, Canada.

A Rate/Cost Analysis of Nebraska Meat Trucking Activities with Livestock Trucking Cost Comparisons, Anderson, D. G., & Budt, W. W. (1975).

Transport markets and firm behavior: the backhaul problem, Wilson, W. W. (1987). In Journal of the Transportation Research Forum (Vol. 28, No. HS-040 635).

Information and the trucking industry, Bander, J. L., Nagarajan, A., & White, C. C. (1997, October). In Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, 1997. Computational Cybernetics and Simulation., 1997 IEEE International Conference on (Vol. 4, pp. 3301-3306). IEEE.

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