PtP Wireless Backhaul Market from an all-IP Perspective -- 3rd Edition
|PTP無線バックホール市場とオールIP化：第3版 PtP Wireless Backhaul Market from an all-IP Perspective -- 3rd Edition|
|出版日: 2012年04月24日||ページ情報: 英文||
In spite of continued shipment increases in hybrid traffic platforms throughout 2011, the packet traffic sector managed to grew at double-digit rates for the first time. This validates the industry's expectations that packet traffic will dominate microwave deployments in the coming years following the transition to all-IP mobile networks. All the new 2011 LTE networkdeployments are packet-based, usually involving a five-year agreement between the operators and their vendors.
Many vendors such as Ericsson and NSN reported a slowdown in shipments due to the macroeconomic situation, mainly in EMEA, as well as political unrest in some countries. That uncertainty resulted in operators delaying spending decisions in the fourth quarter. Ericsson's shipments dropped by almost 20% year-on-year in Q4 2011.
Although the company reported strong shipments between Q2 and Q3 2011, it closed the year with a 20% drop in Q4 2011. One reason was that most global operators were coming down from a period of very high investment in the first half of the year. Also, the failure of the planned merger between AT&T and T-Mobile USA during Q4 2011 lowered US investment.
All outdoor radio vendors that mainly relied on Clearwire's business during 2010 and the first half of 2011 had to change strategy in the middle of 2011 because of the operator's transition from WiMAX to LTE. In particular, Bridgewave and Dragonwave, which rely mainly on the North American region, experienced financial difficulties, reporting weak shipments compared to the past year. The impact was far less on another Clearwire supplier, E-Band Communications, because it is a much smaller company. However, Dragonwave and Bridgewave have now had some time and opportunity to reorganize their product lines. Dragonwave acquired NSN's backhaul division, while Bridgewave closed partnerships to manufacture new E-band products.
Continuing the 2010 trend, the biggest shipments in 2011 were in the 15 GHz to 28 GHz range, though this highlights the fact that these bands are getting quite congested. Shipments in this range grew compared to 2010 (15% and 21% quarter-over-quarter shipment increase in Q3 and Q4, respectively). A total growth of 11% is estimated between 2010 and 2011. Shipments in this band are expected to continue to rise in 2012, since a significant percentage of the links using these frequency bands are still not fully enabled for packet transport purposes.
Hybrid shipments have dominated demand throughout 2011, accounting for 65% of total shipments, though this was a decline over 2010. The main reason for the buoyancy in this segment was the use of hybrid systems for long haul and trunking equipment. From 2012, and over the next few years, that will change, with an accelerating transition expected to packetbased equipment.
Development of the 60 GHz market continues to attract the industry's interest. Vendors like NEC, Bridgewave and Alcatel Lucent strongly believe that this band will be ideal to backhaul small cells, which are being deployed to add more capacity to high density areas. We estimate the 60 GHz market will surpass US$791 million by 2016, up from US$18 million in 2011 A trend in the 60 GHz market is to develop aesthetically innovative products that may not be easily recognized by citizens or raise environmental issues for municipalities. Ericsson, with its new conceptual ball-cylinder radio, and NEC with its new compact box, are competing in this respect with specialist companies such as BridgeWave and Siklu. These have already developed innovative cylinder and cube form factors for their next-generation 60 GHz solutions. The number of players might fall because of very stiff price competition per link amid the battle for new customers.
There is undoubtedly a large amount of E-band spectrum in several countries, making E-band millimeter wave technology ideal for the last mile when distances from fiber facilities are short (~2kms). Operators' need for real gigabit speeds is leading traditional microwave vendors - recently, for instance, Ceragon and Intracom Telecom - to add E-band solutions to their product lines. Priorities are to support both symmetric and asymmetric traffic, plus enhanced OAM (Operations, Administration and Maintenance) capabilities, light weights and small dimensions. This is a very promising technology where high capacity is needed.
All the microwave specialists, like Dragonwave, Ceragon, and Exalt, introduced new flexible solutions during 2011 to make them more competitive against the strong end-to-end integrators such as Ericsson and Alcatel Lucent. They need to support multiple options in terms of spectrum and OAM capabilities. Sometimes these are achieved through OAM agreements and official or unofficial partnerships in order to minimize time to market, a key operator concern. In particular, vendors are adding new frequency bands that were missing, filling configuration gaps (usually outdoor), or enhancing Ethernet and OAM options to follow the competition.