In the days when voice dominated and traffic loads were easily manageable, mobile backhaul was a boring business. But the massive growth in data traffic driven by smartphone adoption and usage, coupled with more spectrally efficient air interfaces such as HSPA+ or LTE, have added increased pressure on backhaul requirements.
As a result, the backhaul market has become a much more exciting place, with better growth prospects, more innovation driven by more exacting requirements and greater competition. These factors are driving prices to a point that even U.S. operators have taken notice and begun to question their own commitment to optical fiber.
Over the next few years, we expect to see increased adoption of wireless backhaul worldwide, with PMP and E-band technologies delivering increasingly attractive and cost-effective solutions for the new LTE networks.
Companies mentioned in this report include BLiNQ, Bluwan, Clearwire, Cambridge Broadband Networks, DesignArt Networks, Siklu and Taqua.