The world's mobile operators will need to spend a combined $840 billion (€608 billion) over the next five years to upgrade their backhaul networks for the coming data deluge, a new report claims.
Networks worldwide currently face “serious” bottlenecks, because radio network upgrades can do little when existing backhaul infrastructure is incapable of supporting forecast growth in consumption and users, Juniper Research warns.
“As many operators are either deploying 3G or augmenting/upgrading their network to 4G, they need to simultaneously manage the upgrade of their backhaul networks,” research analyst Nitin Bhas says.
Juniper also forecasts microwave in backhaul networks will become increasingly important, estimating that the technology will account for over 60% of the world's backhaul capacity by 2016. Markets including India and Latin America will drive adoption of microwave backhaul. In India alone, microwave will account for 87% of capacity in five years time.
Fiber will also take up a larger share of the market, Juniper predicts.