Report: Operators not investing enough in backhaul

Mobile operators may not be planning sufficient investment in backhaul equipment to meet anticipated demand over the next five years, according to a new study from research firm Strategy Analytics. The study, which was commissioned by vendor Tellabs, claims that mobile data traffic globally has increased 13 times in the last 5 years, and forecasts it to grow by 5 to 6 times more by 2017. Consequently, backhaul demands are going to increase in the years ahead and carriers worldwide are collectively underfunding investment in backhaul, according to the study. However, the report found that there will be a backhaul funding gap of around $9.2 billion by 2017. "As many as 40 per cent of mobile users list poor network performance as a reason for leaving an operator," said Strategy Analytics director and service provider analyst Sue Rudd. "At today's backhaul investment levels, operators could create a significant backhaul capacity shortage. This shortfall could diminish quality of service and, in turn, increase customer churn. Operators need to rethink their backhaul investments as they deploy small cells and LTE capacity." Release