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Small Cells Intro Spurs Growth in Mobile Backhaul Deployment

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Prospects for wide adoption of small cells in mobile networks are driving significant growth in demand for test and measurement tools aimed specifically at small cell backhaul deployment, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading Insider.

"The wireless test equipment market is expected to reach $4.8 billion by 2018, and one of the fastest growing verticals is found in testing and monitoring of backhaul," says Denise Culver, research analyst with Heavy Reading Insider and author of the report. "Test and measurement of backhaul has been an important facet of mobile network architects since Ethernet-based backhaul was introduced, specifically because of the timing in the inherently asynchronous protocol."

The changes in mobile backhaul architecture, including introduction of small cells, adds complexity and challenges for backhaul performance monitoring, Culver says.

"This includes the need for more efficient and cost-effective collection of data from different network points, as well as the integration and presentation of this data at higher layers," she continues. "Over the coming two years, mobile backhaul test and measurement will steadily increase in size and importance as end-user demand for data bandwidth continues to grow exponentially."

Key findings:

  • Data growth per user is reaching as much as 50 percent per year, largely due to video, pushing bandwidth demands to phenomenal rates for wireless operators.
  • In both mobile video and LTE, operators must focus bandwidth solutions to ensure customer QoE and reduce churn.
  • Some vendors are so bullish on the backhaul test and measurement market that they project 75 percent growth in the next two years.
  • A significant driver in the market is the desire to increase the number of small cells on a network without degrading QoE.
  • One trend expected by most vendors is for carriers to be pushed into being more consistent about meeting SLAs.

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Tags: small cells  backhaul