Mobile Backaul Market Forecast and Challenges to be Presented at IEEE ComSocSCV Oct 10, 2012 Meeting in Santa Clara

Mobile subscribers’ increased use of smartphones and tablets has caused exponential growth of data and video traffic, which has caused a huge capacity problem for wireless network operators.  Small cells (for spectrum re-use) and heterogeneous networks is one way they are coping capacity constraints on access networks.  WiFi offload is another.  But independent of the mobile access network, there’s an ever increased demand on wireless backhaul networks to handle more data traffic, while also carrying cellular voice calls.

In order to be able to handle this explosive growth in mobile data traffic, operators are quickly upgrading their networks to expand their mobile backhaul capabilities.

  • What will those look like with more capacity in the access network (e.g. via LTE and HSPA+) placing greater demands on backhaul?  
  • Will bonded copper transport become obsolete due to insufficient aggregate bandwidth? 
  • What will be the role of microwave transmission and what different versions of microwave be preferred?
  • What about fiber to cell towers, which was promised a long time ago by AT&T but hasn’t happened in a big way yet? 
  • And what’s the impact of small cells on backhaul topology and transport?  In particular, will there be more backhaul nodes or will a backhaul aggregator super node be required for cost effective transport?


Mobile backhaul will certainly be a growth market.  A recent Dell’Oro market research report forecasts the mobile bachaul market (including transport equipment, routers & switches) to reach $9 billion by 2016.  The firm predicts that the traditional wireline transport segment of wireless backhaul will grow at a 2 percent compounded annual growth rate to $6 billion by 2016. Routers and switches, which are expected to represent 30 percent of the mobile backhaul market by 2016, should grow at a 9 percent compounded annual growth rate to nearly $3 billion.

The October 10th meeting of IEEE ComSocSCV will address all these backhaul issues and more.  This session will feature two distinguished speakers- Michael Howard of Infonetics Research, a very well respected telecom market research firm, and Paul Kennard, CTO of Aviat Networks, which designs and builds microwave networks for mobile backhaul. We will begin with talks from each of the speakers, followed by a lively panel/Q&A session with audience participation.

Audience members are encouraged to submit questions for the panel session- either in writing (submit to the session chair) or during the open mic Q and A.

The meeting description and logistics are at:

Postscript:  Hugely succesful!  Highlights of IEEE ComSocSCV October 2012 meeting on Mobile Backhaul including market forecasts: