According to a report from ABI Research, capital expenditure on cellular backhaul will reach $23 billion by 2012, up from slightly more than $14 billion today. ABI predicts that by 2012 Eastern Europe will have replaced Western Europe as the leading backhaul spenders, followed by the APAC region.
"Today, most networks across the globe are still using T1 for backhaul, but in the next five years there will be a significant migration to Ethernet-based solutions and microwave," ABI's senior analyst Nadine Manjaro said. "Microwave will be the dominant backhaul technology in four of the five regions studied. However, North America will migrate to Ethernet-based solutions and Latin America will continue to depend on T1."
Manjaro claims that North America will break the microwave trend because of the high cost of real estate to mount antennas as well as the high cost per megabit.