As most cell-sites currently are not fiber-fed (and won’t be for years), microwave is an attractive backhaul solution because it does not incur recurring monthly charges like T1/E1 lines do.
"Mobile operators cannot afford to cap investment in their backhaul networks or they run the risk of losing customers in what are already highly competitive markets. Mobile network usage is not expected to significantly slow during the current recession, so bandwidth demand for mobile backhaul will continue to rise and, in turn, so will demand for microwave equipment, particularly Ethernet microwave equipment," said Richard Webb, Infonetics Research Directing Analyst for WiMAX, Microwave, and Mobile Devices.
Other highlights from the report:
Ericsson is the worldwide leader in microwave equipment revenue market share, while NEC leads in unit market share
As an increasing proportion of mobile traffic is data-orientated, mobile operators are migrating their backhaul away from legacy TDM-based systems to packet-based Ethernet solutions, which deliver more bandwidth per connection
Ethernet microwave equipment (hybrid and multi-mode solutions) accounted for close to half of all microwave equipment sales in 2007, growing to 83% by 2011
While backhaul/transport microwave equipment makes up the bulk of microwave equipment sales, microwave first-mile access equipment is a small but stable market, driven by several niche, often mission-critical applications, including emergency response/disaster recovery, back-up/redundancy and access in remote areas
Infonetics’ report tracks Adtran, Alcatel-Lucent, Cambridge Broadband, Ceragon, DragonWave, Ericsson, Exalt, Harris-Stratex, Huawei, Motorola, NEC, Nokia-Siemens Networks, Nortel, ZTE and others. The report provides vendor market share, vendor and service provider activity, technology roadmaps, market drivers, analysis, and 2007 to 2011 market size and forecasts. The report tracks revenue, units, and average price-per-unit for Ethernet first-mile access and high and low capacity backhaul/transport microwave equipment, and PDH/SDH first-mile access and backhaul/transport microwave equipment. [December 17, 2008]
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