In 2020, 65 percent of all cell sites will be connected by microwave solutions. Telecom markets such as China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan that have existing fiber investments will be the exception, said Ericsson.
At present and in future, Microwave backhaul technology is able to handle 100 percent of radio access sites’ capacity needs. By 2020, the Microwave backhaul technology will have evolved to support multi-Gb capacities in traditional frequency bands and beyond 10 Gb in the millimeter wave.
“Microwave networks are an important ingredient for telecom network operators to provide quality experience in the most cost-efficient way, and will continue to be the dominant backhaul technology in the future,” said Karolina Wikander, head of Microwave, Ericsson.
Ericsson said E band spectrum will prove key in catering for capacity increases in both fronthaul and backhaul. The E band (70/80GHz) will experience major growth and will represent up to 20 percent of new deployments in 2020. Traditional bands will represent 70 percent of new deployments in 2020.
Telecoms can achieve seven-time capacity increase using a wide, low-availability link in the E band to boost a high-availability link in traditional bands. E band spectrum will be key in catering for capacity increases in backhaul as well as fronthaul. In addition, microwave planning will begin to include multiband use.
Microwave technology will support multi-gigabit (Gb) capacities in traditional frequency bands and beyond 10 Gb in the millimeter wave (E and V bands), said Ericsson.
The choice between fiber and microwave in backhaul networks will not be about capacity, but fiber presence and TCO.