Small Cell Backhaul Ready for Big Growth, Heavy Reading Finds

As network operators deploy even more small cells, small cell backhaul demand will grow, says Heavy Reading Mobile Networks Insider.

April 9, 2015

2 Min Read

NEW YORK -- Network operators will ramp up their deployments of small cells over the next two years, creating robust demand for small cell backhaul, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading Mobile Networks Insider (, a subscription research service from Heavy Reading (

Small Cells Create a Bigger Backhaul Opportunity examines the small cell backhaul market, analyzing features most commonly found in today's solutions, strongest drivers in the market, verticals that show promise and challenges the industry faces. It includes a comparative analysis of solutions available, examines the geographic landscape of the market and details trends that are likely to occur in the industry over the next 18-24 months.

To see a list of companies covered in this report, please click here.

"With small cell backhaul expected to grow substantially over the next two years, it's vital that vendors help operators understand how to complement their existing network infrastructure," says Denise Culver, research analyst with Heavy Reading Insider and author of the report. "Small cell backhaul enables global operators to address numerous issues, including scalability, coverage, capacity and quality of service (QoS)."

The number of small cells being deployed in major carrier networks is expected by some experts to result in a tenfold increase in the total number of access points available to customers, Culver says. "As the network scales to that level, issues like buildout, cost and maintenance become increasingly important," she continues. "For the future, the vendors that succeed will be those that deliver small cell backhaul solutions that improve profit margins for mobile carriers by cost-effectively addressing operational challenges through features like zero-touch rapid deployment and seamless access for high-bandwidth services."

Key findings of Small Cells Create a Bigger Backhaul Opportunity include the following:

  • Improving throughput and data rates for end users is expected to be one of the biggest drivers as end-user demand increases and alternative Wi-Fi access networks compete for mobile device data.

    • Although LTE will drive small cells in more developed markets, 3G could be a dominant global market driver in the next 24 months.

    • Telecom is a good vertical for small cell backhaul; mobile and network operators will continue to focus on improving their LTE coverage and capacity to meet user demands for at least the next two years.

    • The continued slow pace of large-scale outdoor small cell deployments brings into question the viability of such deployments, most notably those that promote solutions that are not applicable for outdoor small cells.

      Small Cells Create a Bigger Backhaul Opportunity is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (six issues) to Heavy Reading Mobile Networks Insider, priced at $1,499. Individual reports are available for $595 (single-user license).

      To subscribe, or for more information, please visit: For more information on all of Heavy Reading's Insider services, please visit

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