New technologies mean almost 60% of small mobile base stations will use wireless backhaul by 2016, a market researcher believes.
Network operators were likely to prefer wireless technologies like NLOS OFDM (sub-6GHz), MMW (60-80GHz) and Wi-Fi backhaul solutions due to their flexibility, low cost and ability to use point-to-multipoint (PMP) and point-to-point (PTP) techniques to backhaul clusters or rows of small cells, said ABI Research’s practice director for mobile networks Aditya Kaul.
“The cost of these solutions will need to come down to allow operators to make a favourable small cell business case,” he warned.
Kaul said small cell deployments were in their infancy. Fibre, copper, and traditional microwave were currently used to backhaul rooftop micro base stations, he said.
Operators needed to consider product footprint, range, cost, Ethernet/IP support, and capacity, he said. Even so, ABI Research estimated that 58% of outdoor small cells would be backhauled using wireless techniques by 2016.