Wireless network operators collectively will spend $45 billion on macrocell backhaul equipment from 2015-2019, London-based market research specialist IHS Infonetics forecasts.
Having reached a plateau, growth in mobile backhaul spending will resume as wireless carriers in developing countries, such as India, look to roll out 4G LTE network infrastructure and early adopters in others begin to deploy 5G technology, according to the IHS Infonetics Macrocell Mobile Backhaul Equipment report.
Mobile Backhaul Spending
Global spending on macrocell mobile backhaul equipment declined 0.6 percent year-over-year in 2014 to total $8.5 billion. Pressure to lower prices has been constraining revenue growth for equipment suppliers, IHS Infonetics says, though demand is solid as carriers deploy LTE network infrastructure, expand 3G networks and enhance backhaul capacity.
Wireless carriers continue to spend more on IP and Internet mobile backhaul equipment as they expand bandwidth to meet ongoing growth in user demand for mobile data.
More money was spent on microwave radio equipment in 2014 than any other category, accounting for 47 percent of the global total. IHS Infonetics expects spending on microwave radio will decline this year, however, as carriers roll out more fiber and as wireline Ethernet gains market traction.
Looking ahead, IHS Infonetics foresees demand for 5G backhaul driving the market for mobile backhaul spending as 2019 approaches. That will prompt wireless carriers to spend less on microwave backhaul, which will experience only modest annual revenue growth.