Small cells to drive microwave backhaul to 2016
Point-to-point segment to hit $11bn in revenues, driven by millimeter wave, LTE and transition to all-IP
Published: 24 April, 2012
The point-to-point microwave backhaul market should hit $11bn within five years, riding on the wave of small cell build-outs and migration to Ethernet/IP.
According to a new report from Maravedis-Rethink, 'Wireless backhaul from an all-IP perspective', the PtP microwave backhaul segment was flat in 2011 compared to the year before, totalling $4.72bn in value, but over the five-year period to 2016, there will be considerable growth driven by operators' need to support LTE quality of experience.
The main change in the dynamics of this market in 2011 was the rise of pure-packet traffic systems, which saw double-digit growth. However, hybrid IP/TDM equipment remained the biggest portion of the market, at 65% of revenues, and still maintained growth. Over the entire PtP segment, CALA (Caribbean and Latin America) was the only region to see increased sales.
But all-IP roll-outs, and especially the rising use of 60GHz and 80GHz millimeter wave bands for backhaul, will be major drivers from 2012. "All vendors have already realized the need for pure-packet outdoor radios, especially in the 60 GHz and 80 GHz bands. The number of 60GHz links to backhaul small cells will grow at a CAGR of 70% between 2011 and 2016, while the growth rate in 80GHz will be 63% in the same period.
The solutions in the market are becoming very competitive both in price and added features to satisfy the upcoming demand for backhaul links to lampposts and the sides of buildings, where small cells will be installed," said Elias Aravantinos, author of the report.
Ericsson remained the market leader with almost 20% market share in 2011, but is losing ground to Huawei, which came in close second place, overtaking NEC for the first time.