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Millimeter wave gear forecast to grow at 63% CAGR; Ethernet microwave growing 5-fold by 2016


London, UK, April 12, 2012—Market research firm Infonetics Research released excerpts from a pair of recently published vendor market share and forecast reports: Microwave Equipment, which tracks Ethernet, TDM, and hybrid microwave equipment by spectrum, capacity, form factor, and architecture, and Millimeter Wave Equipment, which tracks unlicensed E band 60GHz, licensed E band 70–90GHz, and W band 75–110 GHz millimeter wave equipment by network application (access, backhaul, transport).


"Although the microwave equipment market ended down a bit in 2011 compared to the previous year, the market is poised to return to growth as LTE backhaul needs accelerate, particularly Ethernet microwave gear," expects Richard Webb, directing analyst for microwave at Infonetics Research.

Webb adds: "Meanwhile, the millimeter wave equipment space was characterized in 2011 by 'the Clearwire effect' as Clearwire shifted from their nationwide WiMAX rollout in the US--for which they heavily invested in millimeter wave in 2010 for short-distance backhaul--to prepare for a transition to LTE. Though this resulted in a steep decline in the millimeter wave market in 2011, Infonetics remain bullish on this emerging market, forecasting a 63% compound annual growth rate for millimeter wave equipment revenue from 2011 to 2016. The market will be driven by wider availability of licensed and unlicensed millimeter wave products and as demand for high capacity mobile backhaul solutions for metro areas with high cell density—and small cells in particular—increases with the deployment of 4G networks."


  • Huawei stole the microwave equipment market share lead in 4Q11, though leader Ericsson maintained its #1 position for annual revenue for the third consecutive year in 2011
  • The overall microwave equipment market grew 4% in 4Q11 over 3Q11, to $1.35 billion worldwide
  • For the full year 2011, the microwave equipment market is down 6% to $5.3 billion—even as unit shipments have increased—dragged by rapidly declining TDM equipment sales and price erosion in the hybrid TDM/Ethernet segment
  • Meanwhile, sales of all-packet Ethernet microwave gear are up 19% for the year, and up 13% from the year-ago 4th quarter
  • Infonetics forecasts Ethernet-only microwave equipment to grow nearly 5-fold from 2011 to 2016
  • The global microwave equipment market (including TDM, hybrid, and Ethernet-only equipment) is forecast by Infonetics to total $5.6 billion in 2016
  • As the proportion of small cells increases in 3G and 4G networks, microwave likely will establish itself as the primary backhaul solution for outdoor small cells, driving continued microwave unit shipment growth


Infonetics' quarterly Microwave Equipment report provides worldwide and regional market size, vendor market share, forecasts, vendor and service provider activity, technology roadmaps, market drivers, and analysis for Ethernet, TDM, and hybrid microwave equipment by spectrum, capacity, form factor, and architecture. Companies tracked: Adtran, Alcatel-Lucent, Aviat Networks, BridgeWave, Cambridge Broadband, Ceragon, DragonWave, E-Band, ECI, Ericsson, Exalt, Huawei, NEC, Nera Networks, Nokia Siemens Networks, Proxim, SIAE, Siklu, Trango, ZTE and others. Contact Sales to buy report.


  • The global millimeter wave equipment market hit $45 million in 2011
  • Despite the overall dip in the market, sales of E Band 60GHz unlicensed spectrum millimeter wave equipment for mobile backhaul networks grew almost 80% in 2011
  • The percent of total millimeter wave equipment revenue coming from mobile backhaul applications grew from 20% in 2009 to 59% in 2011
  • BridgeWave leads both the 60GHz unlicensed and 70-90GHz licensed millimeter wave equipment segments, although Infonetics expects the vendor market share landscape to change significantly over the coming 12 to 18 months


Infonetics' biannual Millimeter Wave Equipment report provides worldwide and regional market size, vendor market share, market analysis, and forecasts through 2016 for unlicensed E band (60GHz) and licensed E band (70–90GHz) millimeter wave equipment by network application (access, backhaul, transport), as well as forecasts for W band (75–110 GHz) millimeter wave equipment. The report tracks units, revenue, and ARPU and follows Aviat, BridgeWave, CableFree, E-Band Communications, ECI, Ericsson, Fujitsu, GigaBeam, Huawei, Intracom, LightPointe, Loea, NEC, Proxim, SIAE, Siklu, Sub10 Systems, and others. Contact Sales to buy report.



See MOBILE BACKHAUL AND MICROWAVE or SMALL CELLS AND WIFI OFFLOAD at for report highlights, tables of contents, etc.


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  • Mobile World Congress 2012: Microwave Innovation Gives Long-Term Roadmap
  • Millimeter Wave Outlook 2012: Backhaul Demand, New Entrants Drive Emerging Segment
  • 2012 Mobile Wireless Backhaul Trends
  • Microwave Outlook for 2012: All-Packet Shines, Vendors Position for Small Cells
  • Huawei Revenue Reconciliation
  • Infonetics Research's Top 2012 Trends


Infonetics continues to expand rapidly and is looking to hire more people. See for current job openings, which include a senior Video analyst and market analyst with enterprise VoIP expertise and a marketing writer with digital marketing and social networking experience


  • Western NA, Asia, CALA: Larry Howard (VP),, +1-408-583-3335
  • Eastern NA, Texas, Midwest: Scott Coyne,, +1-408-583-3395
  • EMEA: George Stojsavljevic,, +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 more effectively.

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"The microwave equipment market is poised to return to growth as LTE backhaul needs accelerate, particularly Ethernet microwave gear."

Richard Webb, Directing Analyst
Microwave, Mobile Offload, and Mobile Broadband Devices


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