Cellular backhaul is going to be a growing opportunity for cable operators for some time to come. By 2015, cable operators could be receiving more than $3 billion in annual backhaul service revenues, according to a new report from Visant Strategies.
As mobile wireless operators in the United States continue to upgrade to 3.5G and 4G systems, their need for backhaul capacity is only going to grow. Furthermore, the need is growing at the edge of the network and is soon going to explode between middle network elements in urban and dense suburban areas, areas where cable operators already have fiber plant.
“A strong mix of fiber, copper and microwave technologies are now being used for backhaul,” said Andy Fuertes of Visant Strategies. “But mobile wireless operators have to look for more means to obtain higher backhaul capacities, and quickly in some cases. Cable operators can offer needed backhaul at both the edge of the network, where the need is now, and in the middle network, where the need is in the very near future.”
The report, “U.S. Mobile Wireless Backhaul 2011: Cable joins Copper, Fiber and Microwave to Meet Edge and Middle Network Needs,” finds the cable operator share of the mobile wireless backhaul market will grow by more than five-fold by 2016.
“U.S. mobile wireless operators are in the midst of serving a data-hungry audience,” said Larry Swasey of Visant Strategies. “With 3.5G and 4G being deployed, wireless devices employing more capacity crunching apps and voice minutes going up, backhaul capacity in all areas of the network is a concern. Cable operators like microwave, fiber and copper vendors, will benefit from this concern.”
Report figures include subscribers, 3.5G and 4G subscribers, base stations per tower and base station, middle network elements and tower deployments through 2015. Also, 3.5G and 4G base station deployments, cable operator mobile backhaul service revenues, base stations and middle network elements connected to backhaul by cable operators, and backhaul capacities needed for base stations and middle network elements are detailed through 2015.