Telecom service providers said 51 percent of the microwave links they deploy will be Ethernet-only by 2017 against 38 percent currently, said IHS.
The telecom analysis report is based on interviews with 23 telecom service providers from around the world who use microwave equipment in their networks.
“In additional to capacity requirements for backhaul connectivity continuing to rise, operator confidence in deploying Ethernet for voice and data backhaul has been boosted by packet synchronization, reducing the need for TDM,” said Richard Webb, research director for mobile backhaul and small cells at IHS.
The report said 52 percent will have more than 5,000 microwave links by 2017.
Outdoor small cell backhaul will be growing from 17 percent of respondents now to 70 percent by 2017.
A majority of survey participants want software-defined networking (SDN) controller support in the microwave products they buy.
While fiber-optic is an attractive medium to support high capacity backhaul links, it is not the best solution in a number of scenarios, due to its cost and time required to install, said ABI Research recently.
“Microwave spectrum bands are the most widely used for backhaul links and equipment vendors are providing various solutions to enhance the capacity of microwave backhaul links. Based on ABI Research’s backhaul spectrum data analysis, microwave spectrum bands will remain the important option for mobile backhaul links,” said Khin Sandi Lynn, Industry Analyst.