SOURCE: Infonetics Research

April 03, 2007 18:57 ET

Mobile operators shell out $19.5B in mobile backhaul service charges in 2006, says Infonetics Research

CAMPBELL, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 3, 2007 -- Migration from TDM circuit to IP packet switching among mobile carriers has been anticipated since the debut of 2.5G data services in the mid-1990s, but exploding high speed data traffic has finally forced the migration to begin.

And good timing, too, says Infonetics Research in its latest report, "Mobile Backhaul Equipment, Installed Base, and Services," because mobile operators are feeling the pain of expensive mobile backhaul costs, having shelled out $19.5 billion to wireline service providers in 2006 alone.

"To handle all the voice, video, and data traffic created by the 2.5 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, operators are spending like crazy for more bandwidth," said Michael Howard, principal analyst of Infonetics Research.

"On the bright side, they'll get a lot more for their money in the future with next gen equipment like microwave and IP/Ethernet, which can handle 2G/3G voice simultaneously with 2.5G/3G/3.5G data and video traffic streams, and at a fraction of the cost of traditional wireline backhaul using PDH leased lines (and ATM over PDH)," Howard added. "These improvements will allow mobile operators to slowly increase their capital investment while rapidly adding more subscribers and higher capacity services."

As noted at Infonetics' New Options for Mobile Backhaul conference at the CTIA Wireless 2007 show last week in Orlando, some operators are already testing and trialing Ethernet backhaul, and major Ethernet deployments are expected to begin by late 2007 and will be in full swing by 2008.

Report Highlights

--  Worldwide mobile cell site backhaul equipment grew 13% to $3.9 billion
    between 2005 and 2006 and is forecast to grow to $6.0 billion by 2010
--  Worldwide mobile backhaul installed cell site connections grew 24% 2.3
    million in 2006, and will grow strongly through 2010
--  Microwave radio makes up 80% of total mobile backhaul equipment sales
    and 54% of total connections in 2006
--  The cost per mobile backhaul connection for leased lines PDH and ATM
    over PDH is about two and a half times that of new wireline connections
    (Ethernet, DSL, cable, PON), now and in 2010
--  Ethernet makes up just 1% of total mobile backhaul equipment revenue
    in 2006, but is forecast to soar to $2.5 billion by 2010, at which time it
    will represent 41% of the market
--  EMEA -- with Europe, Middle East, and Africa all contributing --
    accounts for 43% of worldwide mobile cell site backhaul equipment revenue
    in 2006; Asia Pacific accounts for 30%, CALA 21%, and North America 6%
Infonetics' mobile backhaul report tracks the competitive landscape, trends, and growth areas of the mobile backhaul market, from the cell site BTS/NodeB to the BSC/RNC. The report provides worldwide and regional market size and forecasts for mobile backhaul equipment, connections, and service charges for PDH, ATM, Ethernet, SONET/SDH, DSL, PON, coax cable, microwave, WiMAX, and satellite. The report also includes top player analysis, fundamental drivers of the market, changes affecting market growth, and more.

Download sample data at For sales, contact Larry Howard, vice president, at or +1 (408) 583-3335.

Infonetics Research ( is the premier international market research and consulting firm specializing in data networking and telecom. Services include quarterly market share and forecasting, end-user survey research, service provider survey research, and service provider capex analysis.

Contact Information

  • Press Contact:
    Michael Howard
    Principal Analyst and Co-Founder
    Infonetics Research
    (408) 583-3351
    Email Contact