Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei and Cisco's ability to get the most out of capex has lead to the vendors being voted the most important mobile backhaul providers.
A new survey from Infonetics found the three companies scored high among networks for value for money, along with the total cost of ownership, pricing and product reliability.
Michael Howard, Co-founder and Principal analyst, Carrier Networks, said: "Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, and Cisco have been the leaders in mobile backhaul router revenue market share for the past several years, and in our latest mobile backhaul survey, they're also our operator respondents' top picks for wireline mobile backhaul equipment supplier, besting the rest of the field in all 11 of the criteria that service providers use to select vendors."
Richard Webb, Directing Analyst for Mobile Backhaul and Small Cells, added that Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei were popular choices because of their position as "full service" RAN and mobile backhaul suppliers.
The research agency said there were slightly more than six million macrocell backhaul physical connections at three million cell sites globally last year.
Forty five percent used wireless backhaul and the remainder used microwave. The top three small cell backhaul equipment makers are Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Huawei, according to Infonetics' poll of networks.
That segment of the market has been predicted to be a $3.6 billion cumulative market from 2013 to 2017.