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Small cell sol'ns up microwave backhaul growth

Posted: 12 Sep 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:small cell  microwave  backhaul 

Small cell microwave backhaul equipment will grow from a forecast Rs.8,333.33 crore ($1.5 billion) for 2012 to over Rs.35,555.56 crore ($6.4 billion) in 2017, representing a 35 per cent compound annual growth rate, according to ABI Research.

Millimetre wave line-of-sight (MMW LoS) will accumulate 44 per cent of revenue, or over Rs.15,555.56 crore ($2.8 billion), with 23 per cent of microwave links in 2017, Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing Non Line-of-Sight (OFDM NLoS) will capture 31 per cent of small cell microwave backhaul equipment revenue, or Rs.10,555.56 crore ($1.9 billion), with 48 per cent of links in 2017, and Wi-Fi will capture almost 19 per cent of revenue or Rs.4,355.56 crore ($784 million), with 12 per cent of small cell backhaul links.

"Thanks to its NLoS properties and Point-to-Multipoint (PMP) hub-and-spoke architecture OFDM NLoS becomes the most popular backhaul technology for small cells in 2017," says Nick Marshall, principal analyst at ABI Research. ABI Research believes that the millimetre wave bands from 60GHz to 80GHz (MMW LoS) will also prove compelling for small cell backhaul in many situations. Traditional Microwave LoS (6-38GHz) equipment for small cell applications is overtaken by these technologies and will represent only 13 per cent of revenue and 10 per cent of links in 2017.

ABI Research also expects fibre backhaul solutions to experience a healthy growth between 2012 and 2017 with small cell backhaul over fibre reaching almost 24 per cent in 2017, up from 7 per cent in 2012, with regions like China and North America favouring fibre as a backhaul solution in many circumstances.

"We believe that 4G/LTE small cell solutions will again drive most of the microwave and fibre backhaul growth in metropolitan, urban, and suburban areas," continues Marshall.

For more statistics and forecasts, click here.

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