Report: Small cell backhaul market growth may hinge on millimeter wave technologies

ABI Research believes 2015 may be the year to witness meaningful small cell deployments.

Smart city IoT pioneers seen leveraging standards, open source, and AI elements
Smart city IoT pioneers seen leveraging standards, open source, and AI elements

ABI Research expects the small cell backhaul equipment market to exceed US$5 billion in 2019, which aligns with operators’ deliberate approach to small cell deployments. The updates in ABI's latest Small Cells Market Data reflect the rollout delays in the small cell market, asserts the analyst. These changes reflect real deployment scenarios and ABI Research believes 2015 will now witness meaningful small cell deployments.

Millimeter wave technology—thanks to its large bandwidth and NLOS capability—is the fastest growing technology in the latest forecast, assert ABI's analysts, outpacing the overall market with over 100% CAGR between 2014 and 2019. Sub 6GHz technology will capture the largest share of small cell backhaul “last mile” links, predicts the new research, while also outperforming the total market by 2019. Traditional microwave equipment remains a top technology for small cell backhaul applications with a leading share of revenue and one-fourth share of links in 2019.

“We believe that 4G/LTE small cell solutions will again drive most of the microwave, millimeter wave, and sub 6GHz backhaul growth in metropolitan, urban, and suburban areas and also backhaul for 4G/LTE small cells will grow at 2X the rate for 3G and surpass both 2G and 3G in 2016,” says Nick Marshall, Research Director at ABI Research.

"While the North American and Asia-Pacific regions today are equivalent in market share we forecast that it is the Asia-Pacific region which will outperform the market with 2X to 3X the size of any other region, though North America and Europe will also outperform the market,” adds Marshall. Leading vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent, NEC, Ericsson, DragonWave, Ceragon, Aviat, CCS, and Siklu are among the vendors which stand to benefit from this growth.

In the new forecast ABI Research provides small cell backhaul forecasts by technology, region and population density (urban, suburban and rural). These findings are part of ABI Research’s Transport for HetNets, IoT and 5G Research Service. Learn more.

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