Week in research: Backhaul boosted to $9B by mobile broadband; quad play gains slowly

Trans-Pacific circuit prices decline: TeleGeography's latest findings from its Wholesale Bandwidth Pricing Database reveal that trans-Pacific circuit prices have dropped since 2009. During the period between Q2 2009 and Q2 2011, the median monthly lease price for a 10 Gbps wavelength from Los Angeles to Tokyo fell 63 percent, from $98,500 to $36,000. What's more, prices for 10 Gbps wavelengths between Los Angeles to Singapore fell 33 percent, while Hong Kong-Los Angeles 10 Gbps prices declined 39 percent. The research firm attributes the drop in trans-Pacific circuit costs is the ongoing construction of three new undersea cables over the past four years: the Asia-America Gateway (2008), Trans-Pacific Express (2009), and Unity (2010) cable systems. Story

Telegeography transPacific prices

Mobile broadband drives backhaul: Mobile backhaul will get a kick in the pants over the next four years, Dell'Oro Research says in a new report, with the market climbing to $9 billion by 2015. This will largely be due to the demand for mobile broadband. The report tracks two market segments: transport, including microwave and optical equipment, and routers and switches, which includes carrier Ethernet switches, edge routers and cell site devices. "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," said Jimmy Yu, Sr. Director of Optical and Microwave research at Dell'Oro Group. Wireless operators are also transitioning to IP technologies to ensure efficiency and scalability of their networks. Release

Quad play makes slow gains: By 2016, quad play penetration in the United States will have reached just 13 percent, Strategy Analytics reveals in a new report. However, that's a four-fold increase compared to current 2011 levels. "Quad Play bundling has had a slow start in the US, but we see increased momentum over the next five years," said Ben Piper, Director of the Multiplay Market Dynamics service and author of the report. Release

Merger won't help prices: The Yankee Group urged the FCC to block the merger of AT&T (NYSE: T) and T-Mobile, unless the commission steps up and takes a stronger regulatory stance. "We believe this merger will reduce choice for consumers and, more importantly, leave little incentive for AT&T to offer competitive pricing for unbundled mobile services," said Gigi Wang, Yankee Group's chief research officer and co-author of the report, "AT&T/T-Mobile Merger: More Market Concentration, Less Choice, Higher Prices." Release