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Ericsson, Nokia Siemens, NEC lead fast growing microwave equipment market

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Note -- this news article is more than a year old.


Market research firm Infonetics Research released an update of its Microwave Equipment Market Outlook report last week after receiving new guidance from a number of vendors in this space, which significantly altered the market share landscape and overall market size. Highlights from the market share and forecast report follow.

"Mobile adoption and network traffic continues to grow, and content-rich applications are increasingly part of the traffic mix, in turn driving the need for more bandwidth-intensive mobile backhaul solutions. Since most cell-sites are not currently fiber-fed, microwave is a very viable backhaul solution, as it does not incur recurring monthly charges. Mobile operators cannot afford to cap investment in their backhaul networks or they run the risk of losing customers in what are already highly competitive markets. Mobile network usage is not expected to significantly slow during the current recession, so bandwidth demand for mobile backhaul will continue to rise, and, in turn, so will demand for microwave equipment, particularly Ethernet and dual Ethernet/TDM microwave equipment," said Richard Webb, Infonetics Research's Directing Analyst for WiMAX, Microwave, and Mobile Devices.

Report Highlights

  • The microwave equipment market is predominantly driven by mobile backhaul, which is growing rapidly; as a consequence, microwave equipment hit $5 billion in 2007 and is expected to grow at a healthy pace over the next few years
  • In the first half of 2008, Ericsson continued its lead in worldwide microwave equipment revenue market share, and Nokia Siemens Networks eked ahead of NEC for the #2 spot based on the strength of their Ethernet and dual Ethernet/TDM microwave equipment
  • The need for increased bandwidth per cell site is also driving a transition from TDM-based to packet-based microwave backhaul solutions, with most growth being in dual radios that combine native PDH/SDH and native Ethernet traffic without the operator needing to deploy two networks
  • In several years, it is likely that a growing proportion of mobile backhaul links will be Ethernet-only, with TDM traffic handled by pseudowires
  • Approximately 10% of the microwave backhaul/transport market is currently made up of transport applications for microwave, such as last mile and metro access applications
  • Microwave access is a small but active and stable segment of the microwave equipment market that is driven by several niche (often mission critical) applications such as emergency response, disaster recovery, back-up, redundancy, and access in remote areas

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