Small cell backhaul market set for dramatic growth: ABI Research

The small cell backhaul market is poised for takeoff and set to grow at a compound annual rate of 48%, according to a new study from ABI Research.

The market-research company says vendors are now rushing to deliver the ideal backhaul solution, with the market dividing into a number of camps according to technology specialization.

The small cell backhaul market is poised for takeoff and set to grow at a compound annual rate of 48%, according to a new study from ABI Research.

The market-research company says vendors are now rushing to deliver the ideal backhaul solution, with the market dividing into a number of camps according to technology specialization.

“In the emerging small cell wireless backhaul equipment market the selection of the best backhaul technology for small cells is a hotly debated topic,” said Nick Marshall, a principal analyst at ABI Research. “There are multiple technologies available for small cell backhaul and it seems likely that a mix of technologies will be required depending on the deployment scenario.”

ABI Research has grouped the various technologies into the categories of sub-6GHz, microwave, V-Band, E-Band, TV white space and satellite, and says there is fierce competition for market share in each area, with “high levels of innovation being applied for competitive advantage”.

The study comes days after a similar study from Infonetics Research, predicting that a cumulative $6 billion would be spent globally on outdoor small cell backhaul equipment between 2013 and 2017.

Infonetics reckons operators are currently in the process of testing small-cell technologies and selecting suppliers, but said they will move into the commercial deployment phase in coming months.