Infonetics Research has reported the global macrocell mobile backhaul equipment market rose 7% in 2012 from 2011, to over $8 billion.
“While its revenue growth rate is slowing, macrocell mobile backhaul equipment remains a huge market, with annual spending up in the $8 to $9 billion range over the next years. Just a few years ago in 2009, the market was worth under $5 billion,” notes Michael Howard, principal analyst for carrier networks and co-founder of Infonetics Research.
Howard adds: “When we add to the picture small cell backhaul equipment (which we track in another report), which we believe will total a cumulative $5 billion over 5 years, it becomes clear that the backhaul market is massive. The key drivers are the ongoing HSPA/HSPA+ onslaught across the 3GPP world and growing LTE deployments by 3GPP2 players. If you don’t have packet backhaul, there’s no way to handle HSPA and HSPA+. Ethernet and microwave backhaul spending are fueling the whole market.”
Other analysis points shared by Infonetics:
Microwave, the largest spending segment in 2012, is on an upward trajectory even as fiber increases, growing to 56% of mobile backhaul revenue by 2017
Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent are in a virtual tie for the Ethernet access device/gateway and Ethernet router revenue market share lead; meanwhile, Ericsson is #1 in mobile backhaul microwave equipment
Subscribers are growing fast: mobile broadband subscribers are expected to outnumber fixed broadband subscribers by a factor of 3 by 2014