Small Cell Backhaul Booms, but with a Catch

According to Infonetics Research, a cumulative $5 billion will be spent worldwide on outdoor small cell backhaul equipment between 2012 and 2016, exclusive of the nearly $44 billion expected to be spent on macrocell backhaul equipment during the same period. The catch is that most of the market is expected to go to microwave, such as millimeter wave and non-line-of-sight equipment, rather than wireline.

Wireless microwave equipment, including various types of microwave and millimeter wave, accounts for 89% of all outdoor small cell backhaul equipment revenue in 2012, while copper, fiber, and DSL wireline products account for 11%. Infonetics expects the number of outdoor small cell backhaul connections to grow more than 100-fold from 2012 to 2016.
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