Feature Article

October 31, 2013

Deceleration of Macrocell Mobile Backhaul Is Expected in Next Couple of Years

On October 29, 2013, market research firm, Infonetics Research released its latest report entitled “Macrocell Mobile Backhaul Equipment and Services.” This report ranks mobile backhaul equipment vendors, identifies market growth areas, and provides analysis of equipment, connections, cell sites, and service charges.

A macrocell is a cell in a mobile phone network that provides radio coverage served by a high power cellular base station or tower. They generally provide coverage larger than microcells. The antennae for macrocells are mounted on ground-based masts, rooftops and other existing structures, at a height that provides a clear view over the surrounding buildings and terrain.

Some of the highlights of Infonetics’ reports include:

  • Infonetics expects global macrocell backhaul equipment revenue to inch to $8.1 billion in 2013, an increase of just one percent from 2012
  • IP/Ethernet is the clear driver of the macrocell backhaul market, performing the heavy lifting for ever-growing mobile bandwidth usage
  • 94 percent of macrocell backhaul equipment spending in 2013 will be on IP/Ethernet gear
  • Fiber is making up an increasing share of mobile backhaul installed connections, growing to 43 percent in 2017
  • Ethernet microwave radio is forecast by Infonetics to grow at a 36 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2012 to 2017, the highest of any equipment segment

“Though it’ll be slow growth ahead for the macrocell mobile backhaul equipment market, this is still a huge market, one for which we expect operators to spend a cumulative $43 billion over the five years from 2013 to 2017.” These are the comments of Michael Howard, principal analyst for carrier networks and co-founder of Infonetics Research.

As you can see from the following chart, Infonetics to see a rise by 2015, however, in the following two years they do see that it will come down a little showing the deceleration by 2017.

Howard continues, and says “Looking at the big picture, microwave TDM spending is declining, but the IP packet parts are gaining. We look for microwave revenue to dip slightly this year, while Ethernet microwave grows through 2017. IP edge routers will peak this year and then rumble along slightly downhill, with the strongest downward pull from Asia Pacific, countering the worldwide microwave momentum.”

TDM or Time-division multiplexing is a method of transmitting and receiving independent signals over a common signal path by means of synchronized switches at each end of the transmission line so that each signal appears on the line only a fraction of time in an alternating pattern.

Edited by Ryan Sartor

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