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  Press Contact:
Michael Howard
Co-founder and Principal Analyst, Carrier Networks
Infonetics Research
(408) 583-3351
michael@infonetics.com
twitter: michaelvhoward
twitter: infonetics





New study details operator plans for small cell backhaul

 

Campbell, CALIFORNIA, Dec. 15, 2011—In December 2011, market research firm Infonetics Research published important new findings in two Global Service Provider Survey reports: Small Cell and LTE Backhaul Strategies, led by principal analyst Michael Howard (excerpts below), and Small Cell Deployment Strategies, led by principal analyst Stéphane Téral (read more).


For its Small Cell and LTE Backhaul Strategies survey, Infonetics interviewed mobile operators and mobile backhaul transport providers around the world that have already deployed or will deploy mobile backhaul that can support LTE by 2012. The operators participating in the survey represent more than half of the world’s telecom carrier revenue and capex.


ANALYST NOTE

"While operators handle most of their mobile traffic with macrocells (90% on average) and the backhaul network, we were surprised to find that operators we surveyed already offload about 10% of their traffic over indoor and outdoor small cells, WiFi hotspots, and residential femtocells – and they intend to triple that to about 30% at some point in 2013 or later," notes Michael Howard, principal analyst and co-founder of Infonetics Research.


Howard adds: "This trend really highlights the importance of spectrum offload and backhaul offload strategies to operators. Of the mobile traffic handling alternatives, outdoor small cells will see the most growth in use among our respondents, increasing five-fold from 2011 to 2013 or later. And for operators deploying outdoor small cells, the most popular technologies to use in 2013 will be Ethernet on fiber, Ethernet-only microwave, and Ethernet on copper."


SMALL CELL AND LTE BACKHAUL SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • By 2013, a majority of mobile operators and transport providers will have over 90% of their cell sites connected with IP/Ethernet
  • Ethernet is only part of the story: 70% of respondents plan to use some form of MPLS at their cell sites, and prefer to lease a "layer 2 only" service from transport providers
  • Small cells are commonly expected to be a key characteristic of LTE networks, yet there is a growing acceptance that they will also play a vital role in HSPA networks, where they have so far played only a minor role

SMALL CELL AND LTE BACKHAUL SURVEY SYNOPSIS

For its 30-page Small Cell and LTE Backhaul Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey, Infonetics interviewed 27 mobile, incumbent, and competitive operators and mobile backhaul transport providers in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), North America, and Asia Pacific. The study provides the industry’s first accurate measure of operators’ use and plans for macrocell and small cell backhaul technologies and capacities, HSPA+ and LTE backhaul, IP-enabled base station deployments, peak load capacities, cell site backhaul connections (IP/Ethernet, Ethernet, MPLS), evolved packet core (EPC) plans and strategies, and packet timing and synchronization. The survey respondents together represent 51% of the world’s telecom carrier revenue and 54% of the world’s telecom capital expenditures, and make up a significant sample of the telecom operators that are dealing with small cell planning and LTE backhaul. The mobile operators participating in the survey serve 1.86 billion mobile subscribers.


RELATED RESEARCH

Download report prospectuses, tables of contents, highlights, etc. at http://www.infonetics.com/login (see MOBILE BACKHAUL & MICROWAVE or SMALL CELLS & WIFI OFFLOAD).


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Infonetics Research (www.infonetics.com) 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 more effectively.


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"We were surprised to find that operators we surveyed already offload about 10% of their traffic over indoor and outdoor small cells, WiFi hotspots, and residential femtocells."

Michael Howard
Principal Analyst, Carrier Networks

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