Mobile Experts released its forecast that outlines significant growth for wireless backhaul links to support femtocells, picocells, microcells and metrocells. Multiple economic case studies are included, which highlight the impact of various backhaul technologies on overall small-cell viability.
“Fiber-optic cable is the ideal solution, but is almost never available in the right places for high-capacity small cells,” explained Dr. Jonathan Wells, principal analyst at Mobile Experts, in a company release. “We expect the early small-cell market to use RF backhaul below 6 GHz, to address the initial market requirements for throughput below about 80 Mbp/s. However, by 2016, we expect significant adoption of multiband small cells with embedded Wi-Fi and much higher throughput requirements in backhaul. We anticipate an additional market segment where high-throughput millimeter-wave backhaul links will be required.”
According to Wells, Mobile Experts has close relationships with the semiconductor vendors that support wireless backhaul systems, as well as the operators looking at the ROI for small cells. The company compiled a forecast that reconciles the need for low cost and the need for high-throughput performance, including a comprehensive comparison of point-to-point systems and point-to-multipoint systems. The analysis indicates that the cost of wireless backhaul will reach the tipping point in 2015, which will make small-cell deployment possible at a large scale.