Feature Article

November 09, 2009

Equipment Vendors Set to Cash in On Growing Demand for Increased Backhaul Capacity: Report

With wireless carriers across the world continuing to increase backhaul capacity, things are looking up for equipment vendors, according to market research firm Visant Strategies. The market researcher has predicted that equipment vendors would rack up huge profit.
However, analysts did not say what will be the actual growth of the overall market. Last week, another research firm Infonetics predicted that the market for backhaul equipment would double to $10.9 billion in 2013 from $4.6 billion in 2008.
Smartphones like Apple’s iconic iPhone, which allow downloads of everything from games to stock prices, are straining mobile networks and pushing carriers to upgrade wired broadband connections to cell towers, known as backhaul.
“The present increase in needed backhaul capacity is due mainly to the current deployment of HSDPA, EV-DO and mobile WiMax, which are stretching traditional limits of copper-based backhaul throughout the wireless network, even in the middle network, and leading to an increased use of PTP microwave and bonded copper,” said Larry Swasey of Visant Strategies. “This will continue when HSPA+ and LTE are rolled out.”
According to the researcher, copper will remain relevant even in mature wireless markets and fiber cables will help operators realize the dream of providing higher-speed DSL service.
“We see 3.5G and 4G backhaul requirements possibly climbing from 20/50 Mbps to 100 Mbps per base station if data and data devices like the iPhone remain so popular,” said Andy Fuertes of Visant Strategies.
But the real demand for backhaul comes from emerging wireless markets where currently low-cost TDM microwave radios are being used to run the networks. “Next decade, these markets will undergo the same 3.5G/4G transition carriers in Western Europe and North America are undergoing now, creating another round of backhaul prosperity,” analysts predicted.

Narayan Bhat is a contributing editor for MobilityTechzone. To read more of Narayan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

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