MNOs looking to ethernet microwave for voice, data backhaul

News

Mobile operators are increasingly turning to ethernet connection for microwave links in their networks, a report from IHS has found.

A study of 23 global service providers conducted by the research house revealed that 51 percent of deployed microwave links will be Ethernet-only by 2017, compared to the current 38 percent.

Growing reliance on microwave Ethernet comes as a result of a declining need for time division multiplexing (TDM), IHS claimed.

According to the research house, more than half of the service providers it surveyed expect to have more than 5,000 microwave links in their networks by 2017.

Outdoor small cell backhaul was found to be the fastest-growing use case for microwave deployments, which was cited by 17 percent of respondents according to IHS. The research house said this would grow to 70 percent in the next two years.

Meanwhile, a “majority” of survey participants want software-defined networking controller support in the microwave products they buy, IHS said.

[Read more: Operators start to look to SDN to solve backhaul issues]

Richard Webb, Research Director for Mobile Backhaul and Small Cells at IHS, said the findings indicated that the microwave equipment market was “shifting significantly” towards becoming all-packet microwave in the coming years.

[Read more: Microwave equipment market in turnaround, claims new report]

Webb said: “In additional to capacity requirements for backhaul connectivity continuing to rise, operator confidence in deploying Ethernet for voice and data backhaul has been boosted by packet synchronisation, reducing the need for TDM.”