Outdoor small cell backhaul equipment spend to reach $6 billion during 2013-2017: Infonetics

The global outdoor small cell backhaul equipment spend between 2013 and 2017 will be $6 billion, said Infonetics Research.

In 2012, the global outdoor small cell mobile backhaul equipment revenue was $39 million.

The market research agency also said outdoor small cell backhaul connections will grow from fewer than 7,000 in 2012 to more than 850,000 in 2017.

“Outdoor small cells are an exciting new expansion of mobile networking, but they come with challenging backhaul issues,” said Michael Howard, principal analyst for carrier networks and co-founder of Infonetics Research.

Of the small cell backhaul technologies, unlicensed millimeter wave makes up the largest portion of revenue.

North America currently leads the outdoor charge, with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Clearwire and Comcast investigating, planning and conducting field trial deployments.

Last week, Eric Costa, analyst in TBR’s Networking and Mobility Practice, said AT&T’s strengths are in its connected device and postpaid segments, and the operator will continue to rapidly invest into these areas. AT&T reached its Digital Life year end goal of 50 markets in October.

Outdoor small cell backhaul market kicking into high gear in 2014

According to the Infonetics report, the 2 main applications for outdoor small cell backhaul are adding capacity/extending coverage in high-traffic urban areas and adding coverage in rural areas.

Michael Soper, Networking & Mobility Analyst, TBR, recently said mobile equipment vendor Ericsson introduced the Radio Dot System in September and it fulfills most of the key requirements of operators and enterprise customers looking for the ideal small cell.

Ericsson will leverage operators to engage with an enterprise customer and pull through Ericsson’s solution for implementation. The smoke detector-sized Dot is capable of coordinating with other access elements in the network to attain optimal coverage and capacity.

The other vendors in small cell segment are Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco.

In its related Macrocell Mobile Backhaul Equipment and Services report, Infonetics predicts that a cumulative $44 billion will be spent on macrocell mobile backhaul equipment between 2013 and 2017.

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