Press Release

Smartphone Data Usage Driving Wireless Carriers to Beef Up Backhaul Quickly


November 2nd, 2010

Global Information Inc. would like to present a new market research report, "Wireless Backhaul: The Network Behind LTE, WiMAX, and 3G" by In-Stat.

As smartphones such as the iPhone and Android become must-have consumer items, bandwidth demands on wireless networks are increasing dramatically. Traffic from next-generation, graphics-rich LTE applications will soon begin to accelerate the growing demands on backhaul the link between the edge of a mobile network and the backbone. In-Stat believes that by 2014, more than half of the capacity in the North American last mile backhaul will be dedicated to LTE.

"Nearly every major mobile operator is, or will shortly be, at capacity," says Chris Kissel, Industry Analyst for In-Stat. "Mobile phones will continue to get smarter, and devices will be able to take in more data at faster rates. So, wireless providers must move quickly to bolster backhaul bandwidth, and they have several options at their disposal to meet the challenge. There is no homogeneous strategy or path for major mobile operators," Kissel says. "Which road a carrier chooses will depend on factors such as its current infrastructure makeup and future projections for bandwidth demand."

The research found the following:

  • Total expenditures for last mile backhaul (including line leasing, new equipment spending, and spectrum acquisitions) will set mobile operators back nearly $117 billion by 2014, a 41% increase over 2009 expenditures of $83 billion.
  • Wireless last mile backhaul capacity in Western Europe will more than triple between 2010 and 2014, to nearly 60,000 Gbps.
  • By 2014, Ethernet will be the dominant carrier technology with 85% usage in base stations.
  • The two largest backhaul suppliers in the world are Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson.

The research identifies mobile backhaul expenditures and capacities. Cellular backhaul provides the crucial link between a mobile operators RAN and its core network. Last mile backhaul is critical because poor backhaul planning can create bottlenecks that limit subscriber growth and quality of service. Backhaul opportunities include infrastructure equipment, as well as service opportunities for cable MSOs, satellite vendors, and wholesalers.


Global Information Inc.(GII) - specializing in market research provision for the vertical industries, GII offers expert independent recommendations of publications from hundreds of the globe's leading market research firms.

Product Code : 129176