Number of outdoor small cell backhaul connections to grow 100-fold from 2012 to 2016

Telecom Lead Asia: The number of outdoor small cell backhaul connections is likely to grow more than 100-fold from 2012 to 2016.

Michael Howard infonetics

Wireless microwave equipment, including various types of microwave and millimeter wave, accounts for 89 percent of all outdoor small cell backhaul equipment revenue in 2012, while copper, fiber, and DSL wireline products account for 11 percent.

Infonetics expects a cumulative $5 billion to be spent worldwide on outdoor small cell backhaul equipment between 2012 and 2016, with the market kicking into high gear in 2014. This is in addition to the nearly $44 billion being spent on macrocell backhaul equipment during the same 5-year period.

“We expect to see significant shifts in the type of equipment vendors use to backhaul outdoor small cells, with millimeter wave and non-line-of-sight, or NLOS, equipment becoming the top segments of the market by 2016. Millimeter wave equipment has a high capacity (1Gbps in a single channel) and very low latency, and nearly all of the operators we’ve interviewed are evaluating millimeter wave for small cell backhaul,” said Richard Webb, directing analyst for microwave and mobile offload at Infonetics and co-author of the report.

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