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Infonetics: Outdoor Small Cell Backhaul Equipment Expected to Reach Critical Mass in 2015

Market research firm Infonetics Research released excerpts from its latest Small Cell Mobile Backhaul Equipment report, which tracks and forecasts outdoor small cell backhaul equipment revenue, units, connections and small cell sites by medium (copper, fiber, air).


“Although Infonetics has never been bullish about the rate of adoption of outdoor small cells, from the relatively modest scale of deployments in 2013 we now expect critical mass in outdoor small cells to be achieved a little later than previously forecast, still some two years out from now. This, of course, directly impacts the small cell backhaul market, which will scale in parallel,” notes Richard Webb, directing analyst for microwave and carrier WiFi at Infonetics.

Webb continues: “We still believe the outdoor small cell market will happen, but judging by the speed at which things moved—or didn’t move—in 2013, it’s just going to take a little longer to get off the runway.”


  • Deployments of outdoor small cells will be driven largely by mobile operators' need to enhance saturated macrocellular networks in urban, high-traffic areas and improve the mobile broadband experience
  • Of the wireless microwave technologies, licensed millimeter wave accounts for the largest portion of outdoor small cell backhaul revenue
  • Outdoor small cell backhaul connections are expected to reach 656,000 in 2017
  • Though North America originally led the outdoor small cell charge, Infonetics expects regional revenue share to shift to Asia Pacific and EMEA by 2017
  • Infonetics expects a cumulative $3.6 billion to be spent worldwide on outdoor small cell backhaul equipment over the 5 years from 2013 to 2017, with the market kicking into high gear in 2015
  • This figure is in addition to the over $43 billion being spent on macrocell backhaul equipment during the same 5-year period (see Macrocell Mobile Backhaul Equipment and Services report)


Infonetics’ biannual small cell mobile backhaul report tracks equipment used for transporting traffic from outdoor small cell sites, such as those attached to light poles, utility poles, and the sides and tops of buildings. Equipment tracked includes DSL modems and DSLAMs, Ethernet over copper, Ethernet over fiber, <6GHz microwave, point-to-point (P2P) microwave, point-to-multi-point (P2MP) microwave, and licensed and unlicensed millimeter wave.

The report provides worldwide and regional market size, forecasts through 2017, analysis, and trends for equipment, connections, and cell sites by type. Vendors tracked: Actelis, Adtran, Alcatel-Lucent, AOptix, Aviat, BlinQ Networks, BluWan, BridgeWave, Calix, Cambridge Broadband, Celtro, Ceragon, Ciena, Cisco, Dragonwave, E-Band, ECI, Ericsson, Fastback, Fujitsu, Huawei, Juniper, MRV, NEC, NSN, Overture, Positron-Aktino, RAD Data, Radwin, Samsung, Siklu, Sub10 Systems, Taqua, Tarana, ZTE, and many others. To buy the report, contact Infonetics:



Download Infonetics’ 2013 market research brochure, publication calendar, events brochure, report highlights, tables of contents, and more at


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  • Building Indoor Wireless Solutions: Technologies, Challenges and Backhaul (2014: Sponsor)


N. America (West), Asia Pacific: Larry Howard, [email protected], +1 408-583-3335

N. America (East, Midwest), L. America: Scott Coyne, [email protected], +1 408-583-3395

EMEA, India, Singapore: George Stojsavljevic, [email protected], +44 755-488-1623

Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan:


Infonetics Research ( is an international market research and consulting firm serving the communications industry since 1990. A leader in defining and tracking emerging and established technologies in all world regions, Infonetics helps clients plan, strategize, and compete effectively. View Infonetics’ About Us slides at

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