REDWOOD CITY, CA â€“ Telecom service providers, utilities and other owners of fiber networks have all reported in the past few years that running fiber connections to cell sites is becoming a major part of their business. For example, SureWest, which provides FTTH services in California and the Kansas City area, is capitalizing on its fiber network to provide wireless backhaul service to 360 cellular towers.
Demand for fiber-based mobile backhaul will skyrocket in the coming years. A new market forecast report by Dell’Oro Group projects mobile backhaul market revenues at nearly $9 billion by 2015. This forecast includes not only optical transport equipment but also microwave transport, cell site devices, carrier Ethernet switches and service provider edge routers.
Jimmy Yu, senior director of optical and microwave research at Dellâ€™Oro Group, says, â€œWeâ€™re at the initial stage of the mobile broadband wave with only a few LTE deployments under way. As radio access networks across the globe get upgraded to newer mobile radio technologies like 4G LTE, availability of sufficient backhaul capacity will be a key enabler to customer experience. Our latest report indicates high-capacity optical and microwave deployments will have to maintain a growth curve to deliver the requisite backhaul capacity through 2015.â€