MAY 13, 2008 -- Mobile operators and backhaul transport providers spent $3.7 billion worldwide on mobile backhaul equipment in 2007, and are expected to increase their spending at a high-double-digit percentage from 2009 to at least 2011, according to Infonetics Research's (search for Infonetics) latest Mobile Backhaul Equipment, Installed Base, and Services report.
"All market indicators support continued growth of the mobile backhaul market. Manufacturers and service providers have had residential broadband and corporate services as the main thrust of their businesses for a long time, and now mobile backhaul makes up a third area that nearly all of them are focusing on. We expect to see the Ethernet mobile backhaul revolution really kick off in 2009," said Michael Howard, principal analyst of Infonetics Research and lead analyst on the report.
More highlights from the report:
- There are 3 major factors forcing a migration to packet
backhaul: rapidly increasing numbers of mobile subscribers, reaching 4.4 billion worldwide in 2011; an explosion in mobile data and video use, particularly on iPhones and their clones, requiring providers to significantly increase bandwidth offerings; and heavy competition, forcing operators to upgrade their network capacity to improve and add new subscriber services. These upgrades will include IP/Ethernet BTS/NodeBs, WiMAX, and LTE.
- New cell-site backhaul connections, which drive equipment spending, will roughly quadruple worldwide from 2007 to 2011.
- The IP/Ethernet portion of worldwide mobile backhaul equipment revenue is set to skyrocket, racking up a triple-digit 5-year compound annual growth rate from 2007 to 2011.
- By 2011, service providers using PDH, ATM over PDH, or SONET/SDH for their mobile backhaul connections will be paying roughly 3X to 40X as much in service charges per connection as those using Ethernet, DSL, coax cable, or PON.
- Most operators are looking at a hybrid approach to mobile backhaul, keeping 2G and 3G voice on current TDM technology and using packet technology for the growing data service EV-DO, EDGE, and HSDPA traffic.
- The T-Mobile, Swisscom Mobile, and Telecom Italia contracts for IP, Ethernet, and pseudowire cell-site backhaul are the first of many to come over the next 18 months.
Infonetics' report focuses on the network between the BTS/NodeBs at a cell site to the BSC/RNC, whether over air, copper, or fiber.
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