Will Backhaul Cause a Backup?

Carl Weinschenk

Carl Weinschenk speaks to Dell'Oro Senior Analyst Loren Shalinsky. On Jan. 31, Dell'Oro released a five-year forecast on mobile backhaul.

The cellular backhaul sector is growing at a fast pace, driven by the explosion of mobile usage. The dynamics of the business is changing as well. Dell'Oro Senior Analyst Loren Shalinsky tells IT Business Edge blogger Carl Weinschenk that Ethernet is unseating older technologies. A big job lies ahead, he says. Only about 20 percent of the towers that will be needed to handle all the traffic have been built.


"... there is a coming together of these [enterprise and telecom] marketplaces, driven by the transition to Ethernet-based technologies."


Loren Shalinsky
Senior Analyst
Dell'Oro

Weinschenk: What does the study look at?
Shalinsky: This is the first time Dell'Oro did a mobile backhaul-specific report. This report is a five-year forecast. We decided to leverage the experience we have in many other areas of telecom and networking to create this slice of the marketplace, which spans many different technologies we already cover.

 

Weinschenk: What did you find?
Shalinsky: We saw growing interest and growth in general in the marketplace. We see that the number of mobile devices has been increasing greatly, the subscriber base is increasing and there is a lot of interest in this marketplace.


Weinschenk: What do you see going forward?
Shalinsky: This market has been and will continue to grow. The large growth of subscribers as well as a change in the mix of subscribers is driving two different things. There is growth in the number of absolute pieces of equipment that are needed. With a shift to the higher bandwidth technology like LTE and HSPA+ there is a shift from TDM-based technology-which is better geared to traditional voice phone calls-to Ethernet-based technology which is traditionally used for data-centric devices.


 

Weinschenk: It's not a simple field. How did Dell'Oro break it down?
Shalinsky: We approached the market from two perspectives. One is from the transport [angle]. Included in transport are things like microwave technologies and optical networking technologies. Those are the main drivers. What we see is that on a cell site by cell site basis or from a link basis, the growth in subscribers has driven a growth in the number of cell sites required. Therefore, there is need for more transport equipment.

 



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