SOURCE: Infonetics Research

Infonetics Research

September 08, 2011 18:53 ET

NEC, Ericsson get top marks from carriers in latest Infonetics Research microwave survey

LONDON--(Marketwire - Sep 8, 2011) - As the microwave equipment market, which generated $5.6 billion globally for manufacturers in 2010, is fiercely contested by major integrated vendors and small-to-mid scale specialist vendors, market research firm Infonetics Research recently surveyed network operators about their deployment plans, feature preferences, ratings of vendors, and criteria for choosing vendors. Select excerpts from the report, Microwave Strategies and Vendor Leadership: Global Service Provider Survey, follow.

"The bottom-line result of our latest microwave strategies survey is that, for operators, customer support is the key way to differentiate from the pack. Technology is important, and of course vendors love to talk about new product features. But this does not always align with the way in which their customers and the market in general assess vendors. To operators, a vendor that can build a lasting and productive relationship with them, based on strong service and support, will most likely win the purchase decision," advises Richard Webb, directing analyst for microwave at Infonetics Research.


  • NEC is the highest-rated vendor for customer service and support among operators participating in the survey
  • Ericsson joint-leads with NEC in financial stability ratings, and ties Nokia Siemens Networks for the second-highest ratings for technology (NEC is first)
  • Huawei gets top marks from operators for pricing and price-to-performance ratio, reinforcing the perception that it is undercutting the pricing structure of its competitors
  • Alcatel-Lucent ties for the third-highest rankings from operators for a number of criteria, including product roadmap and security
  • There will be an increasingly significant shift from dual Ethernet/TDM microwave to Ethernet-only microwave backhaul, driven by the exponential increases in data traffic caused by HSPA/HSPA+ and later, LTE adoption
  • Microwave will continue to be the dominant mobile backhaul solution even as fiber to the cell site is more widely deployed, as fiber will not always be available or cost-effective
  • Though mid-tier (13-24 GHz) and low-tier (1-12 GHz) spectrum bands currently dominate microwave deployments, use of high-tier spectrum (24-42 GHz), unlicensed spectrum, and millimeter wave spectrum will notably increase as operators seek to leverage less exploited spectrum to address backhaul needs

Infonetics' 25-page Microwave Strategies and Vendor Leadership survey, published in July 2011, includes analysis and carrier responses to questions about deployment and preferences for microwave equipment, spectrum bands, microwave applications, product features, and vendor selection criteria. The report features a vendor scorecard with service provider ratings of 8 microwave manufacturers (Alcatel-Lucent, Aviat Networks, Ceragon, DragonWave, Ericsson, Huawei, NEC, Nokia Siemens Networks) on 8 criteria (technology, product roadmap, security, management, price-to-performance ratio, pricing, financial stability, service and support), as well as responses to aided and unaided (open-ended) questions about vendor brand awareness and familiarity.

The report is based on interviews with purchase-decision makers at 21 service providers that have deployed microwave equipment for access, backhaul, or transport applications. The carriers are from EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), North America, and Asia Pacific, and together represent a significant 23% of worldwide telecom revenue and 20% of telecom capex. Roughly one-third each are mobile operators, incumbent operators, and competitive operators.


Download report prospectuses, tables of contents, highlights, etc., at (see MOBILE BACKHAUL AND MICROWAVE).


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.

Contact Information

  • Lead Analyst:
    Richard Webb
    Directing Analyst - WiMAX, Microwave, and Mobile Devices
    Infonetics Research
    +44 (0) 1689.851.618
    +1 (408) 583.3369
    Email Contact