March 13, 2012 06:00 ET

U.S. Mobile Backhaul Demand Forecast to Grow More Than Nine Times in the Next Four Years

New iGR Study Shows That Demand for Mobile Data Will Drive Demand for Mobile Backhaul at a CAGR of 58 Percent From 2011 to 2016

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - Mar 13, 2012) - The decisions to lease, reengineer, or build a mobile backhaul network is the critical dilemma facing wireless carriers over the next four years. This study examines mobile backhaul today, where mobile backhaul is heading, and the options, issues and challenges that wireless carriers must manage through.

The wireless industry is at the point where 2G, 2.5G, 3G, HSPA+ and 4G LTE technologies, using macro, metro, and picocells, must be simultaneously supported in order to maintain financial performance and a high degree of subscriber satisfaction. This, in turn, means mobile backhaul demand and costs will continue exploding due to mobile data bandwidth demands required to support data, content, and more sophisticated multimedia communications, the byproduct of new 4G networks and the plethora of new devices.

"Just as the radio networks are transitioning from 3G to 4G and adding more small cells, so the mobile operators must also upgrade their mobile backhaul from legacy TDM to Ethernet. This study shows clearly the size of the challenge that faces the operators and, of course, the significant opportunity for mobile backhaul service, infrastructure and solution providers," said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry. "The upgrade of the mobile backhaul networks presents a significant opportunity for cable MSOs, IP equipment and infrastructure vendors, tower companies, and the telecommunications services providers."

As a result, iGR forecasts the demand for U.S. mobile backhaul will grow at a CAGR of nearly 58 percent between 2011 and 2016, with the overall demand growing by 9.7 times. And the growth of fiber backhaul, the preferred method for providing mobile backhaul, is expected to reach a CAGR of nearly 85 percent over the same period.

Legacy mobile networks were tuned for voice communications, with some data, but now the trend is completely reversed and mobile backhaul networks are being stressed to their limits. The legacy 3G and new 4G networks must now be equipped to support a very high Quality of Service (QoS) for very dynamic transmission of customized data.

Mobile backhaul is now THE critical link between the Radio Access Network (RAN) and the carrier wireless backbone that supports smartphones and new sophisticated multimedia data rate plans. Mobile backhaul transports mobile data from the end-user device to mobile IP networks or traditional landline networks. The consumer demand for smartphones, tablets and other devices has led to atmospheric growth in bandwidth demands.

iGR's new market research report, U.S. Mobile Backhaul Forecast: 2011-2016, provides an analysis of the overall mobile backhaul market in the U.S. and discusses the migration from legacy TDM mobile backhaul to Ethernet networks. The report includes an overview of mobile backhaul standards, network architectures and the impact mobile data is having on the backhaul networks.

The following key questions are addressed in the new research study:

  • How much mobile backhaul will be required in the U.S. from 2011 to 2016?
  • How will the split of mobile backhaul between microwave, copper and fiber change between 2011 and 2016?
  • How will the current mobile backhaul solutions change to meet the increased demand for 4G networks?
  • What is the Interim Hybrid Model for mobile backhaul?
  • How will Ethernet networks impact mobile backhaul?
  • What are the main challenges to be overcome by mobile backhaul solutions?

This report discusses the opportunities for cable MSOs (such as Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and Bright House Networks), telecommunications companies (such as AT&T, Verizon Communications and CenturyLink), microwave backhaul providers and tower companies (such as American Tower, Crown Castle and SBA Communications) to meet the growing demand for mobile backhaul.

The new report can be purchased and downloaded directly from iGR's website from the following link: U.S. Mobile Backhaul Forecast: 2011-2016. Alternatively, contact Amanda Louie at (512) 554-1701 or at for additional details.

U.S. Mobile Backhaul Forecast, 2011 - 2016:

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About iGR
iGR is a market strategy consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile communications industry. Founded by Iain Gillott, one of the wireless industry's leading analysts, in late 2000 as iGillottResearch, iGR is now entering its twelfth year of operation. iGR continuously researches emerging and existent technologies, technology industries, and consumer markets. We use our detailed research to offer a range of services to help companies improve their position in the marketplace, clearly define their future direction, and ultimately improve their bottom line.

iGR researches a range of wireless and mobile products and technologies, including: smartphones; tablets; mobile applications; bandwidth demand and use; small cell architectures; DAS; LTE; WiMAX; VoLTE; IMS; NFC; GSM/GPRS/UMTS/HSPA; CDMA 1x/EV-DO; iDEN; SIP; macro-, pico- and femtocells; mobile backhaul; WiFi and WiFi offload; and SIM and UICC.

A more complete profile of the company can be found at

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