The wireless industry's ongoing migration towards IP-based LTE services is creating a healthy wireless backhaul market for optical transport, microwave transmissions and router/switching vendors.
According to the Dell'Oro Group's latest market forecast, which tracks everything from cell site devices, carrier Ethernet switches to service provider edge routers, revenues for these equipment segments will surpass $8 billion by 2015.
Dell'Oro's report revealed that the overall wireless backhaul equipment market will grow over 40 percent during the next five years, while revenues for the routers and switches segment will more than double over the same period.
Loren Shalinsky, Senior Analyst at Dell'Oro Group, said that "The huge growth in bandwidth requirements, coupled with the transition to 4G IP-based cellular radio technologies will drive the mobile backhaul market over the next five years."
Shalinsky added that "the largest increase in mobile backhaul equipment revenues over the next five years will likely come from the Asia Pacific and EMEA regions, as these areas grow their cellular subscriber base as well as prepare for next generation cellular network technologies like HSPA+ and LTE."
The growth of the wireless backhaul equipment market will likely be driven by two distinct factions: wireless operators and a growing mix of domestic and international incumbent and competitive wholesale carriers selling Ethernet-based wireless backhaul capacity solutions to wireless operators. On a domestic basis, incumbent wholesale arms including Qwest Wholesale (NYSE: Q), competitive providers including FiberTech, Level 3 (Nasdaq: LVLT), and Zayo, and even cable operators including Cox, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) have been aggressively been extending their fiber to cell sites to meet the burgeoning Ethernet-based backhaul demand.
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