Updated: Infonetics: Small cell backhaul equipment will be a $5B cumulative market by 2016

The market for outdoor small cell backhaul equipment will reach a cumulative of $5 billion worldwide from 2012 to 2016, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.  This is in addition to the $44 billion that the research firm expects will be spent on macrocell backhaul equipment during the same time period.

The company also said that number of outdoor small cell backhaul connections will grow more than 100-fold from 2012 to 2016. 

Richard Webb, co-author of the report said that he expects millimeter wave and non-line-of-sight, or NLOS, equipment to garner the largest portion of the small cell backhaul market by 2016. "Millimeter wave equipment has a high capacity (1 Gbps in a single channel) and very low latency, and nearly all of the operators we've interviewed are evaluating millimeter wave for small cell backhaul," Webb said.

Currently, wireless microwave equipment, including various types of microwave and millimeter wave, accounts for 89 percent of all outdoor small cell backhaul equipment revenue, while copper, fiber and DSL wireline accounts for just 11 percent.

Infonetics categorizes backhaul into several categories including three forms of wireline (copper, fiber, DSL) and the five forms of wireless (licensed and unlicensed millimeter wave and point-to-point, point-to-multi-point, and non-line-of-sight, or NLOS, microwave). This report tracks and forecasts outdoor small cell backhaul equipment revenue, units, connections (aka links) and small cell sites by medium (copper, fiber, air).

 For more:
- see this release

Related articles:
Analyst: 98% of operators say small cells are essential for the future
Report: Small cell shipments to hit 5M annually by 2017
Alcatel-Lucent revamps backhaul portfolio for small cells
Report: Small cells outstrip macro cells as European deployments speed up
Infonetics sees over-crowded small cell vendor community

Headline was updated to reflect that the market will be a $5B cumulative market over five years between now and 2016