Market research, financial analysis and consulting on wireless technologies and services
Backhaul for small cells. Finding the right cost/performance tradeoffs to meet the backhaul challenge
 Report Highlights

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Report roadmap

Requirements: Definitions, deployment typologies and requirements for small-cell backhaul solutions.

Solutions: Assessment of different technologies (fiber, wireless), spectrum bands (sub-6 GHz, microwave, millimeter wave, licensed and license-exempt bands), architectures (LOS/NLOS, PMP/PTP, topologies, form factors, and deployment models)

Vendors: Vendor strategies and overview of innovative solutions.

Financial analysis:
Financial tradeoffs of alternatives, including fiber versus wireless, PTP versus PMP, LOS versus NLOS, and at the cost impact of integrated backhaul, relays, and wholesale business models

In their own words: Vendors' own statements on what makes their solutions stand out in the market


Fiber, sub-6 GH licensed and license-exempt, PMP and PTP microwave, 60 GHz, E-band


Airspan, Alcatel-Lucent, Aviat, Blinq, Bluwan, BridgeWave, Cambridge Broadband Networks, Ceragon, DesignArt, DragonWave, E-Band, Ericsson, Huawei, Intracom, NEC, Nokia-Siemens, Powerwave, Ruckus Wireless, Siklu, Skyfiber, Sub10, Taqua, Ubiquiti


LOS versus NLOS; PTP versus PMP; Star, spoke-and-hub, ring, hybrid topologies; relay hops


Capacity, latency, distance, spectrum bands, form factor, installation, power, LOS/NLOS, PTP/PMP, LTE-Advanced features



List of figures

Figure 1. Bakchaul for macro and small cells: basic topology
Figure 2. Survey results: small-cell backhaul capacity requirements
Figure 3. Backhaul capacity requirements
Figure 4. Survey results: Percentage of small cells using fiber for backhaul
Figure 5. Trenching costs for fiber compared to cost of wireless backhaul link
Figure 6. Survey results: Most-used spectrum bands
Figure 7. Small-cell backhaul decision tree
Figure 8. Small-cell topologies
Figure 9. Small-cell hybrid topology
Figure 10. Total capacity requirements in a small-cell hub
Figure 11. Impact of topology on spectrum choice
Figure 12. Vendors' solutions for small-cell backhaul by spectrum band and architecture
Figure 13. Cost of sub-6 GHz spectrum: comparison of FDD and TDD bands.
Figure 14. Huawei eRelay terminal equipment
Figure 15. Vendor solutions by volume (cubic cm) and equipment weight (kg)
Figure 16. Taqua W-Series
Figure 17. BLiNQ X100
Figure 18. Vendor solutions by capacity (mbps) and power consumption (Watt)
Figure 19. BridgeWave PicoHaul
Figure 20. Siklu’s EtherHaul-600
Figure 21. Sub10 Liberator
Figure 22. E-Band E-Link 1000LR
Figure 23. Backhaul as percentage of total equipment costs
Figure 24. Small-cell cumulative capex and opex over a five-year period
Figure 25. Spectrum costs per small cell for the sub-6 GHz spectrum
Figure 26. Capex with variable trenching costs; opex with variable leased fiber costs
Figure 27. Cost savings from PTP-LE, PMP-L and PMP-LE compared to PTP-L
Figure 28. Cost impact of number of cells per hub in PMP-L on equipment, backhaul TCO and small-cell TCO
Figure 29. TCO per mbps
Figure 30. Cost savings from integrated (single-box) backhaul
Figure 31. Cost of adding a relay to a LOS link
Figure 32. Wholesale model cost savings on backhaul and small-cell TCO

List of tables

Table 1. Macro and small-cell backhaul compared
Table 2. What is a small cell?
Table 3. Deployment typologies
Table 4. Backhaul requirements
Table 5. Spectrum options: tradeoffs
Table 6. Spectrum options: comparison
Table 7. Choosing among topologies
Table 8. Integrated backhaul: requirement or option?
Table 9. Comparison of vendors' solutions
Table 10. Backhaul options compared in the financial analysis
Table 11. Cost assumptions
Table 12. PTP or PMP?
Table 13. Wholesale models


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