In 2016, the global market for macrocell mobile backhaul equipment is expected to be worth $9.7 billion, growing slowly but steadily as operators outside North America step up investment in microwave gear to handle rising capacity demand.
The prediction comes from the Macrocell Mobile Backhaul Equipment and Services report by Infonetics Research. The biannual publication offers data on market size and share, both in global and regional terms, as well as analysis and forecasts for equipment, connections, installed cell sites and service charges.
According to Infonetics, 94% of total spending on macrocell mobile backhaul equipment is attributable to IP/Ethernet gear. Within that group, packet-capable microwave is responsible for 54% of investment. Revenues from Ethernet mobile backhaul routers are expected to reach their zenith in 2015, as small cells move to become the centre of attention. The research company forecasts $43.6 billion in cumulative expenditure on macrocell mobile backhaul equipment between 2012 and 2016.
Infonetics co-founder and principal analysts Michael Howard sees a future of slow but steady growth for sales of macrocell mobile backhaul equipment. He noted that US mobile carriers Verizon Wireless and AT&T are wrapping up the first big wave of their LTE network deployments, so investment in North America is cooling off, but there is plenty of scope for growth elsewhere. Operators in other regions are buying up microwave equipment as capacity requirements keep rising, Howard said. Richard Webb, Infonetics directing analyst for microwave and mobile offload, added that microwave equipment accounted for more than 50% of total spending on the mobile backhaul market.
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