The world's mobile operators will need to spend a combined $840 billion over the next five years to upgrade their backhaul networks for the coming data deluge, a new report claims.
Networks worldwide currently face “serious” backhaul bottlenecks, Juniper Research warned.
Radio network upgrades are not enough when existing backhaul infrastructure is incapable of supporting the forecast growth in consumption and users, according to report author Nitin Bhas.
“As many operators are either deploying 3G or augmenting/upgrading their network to 4G, they need to simultaneously manage the upgrade of their backhaul networks,” Bhas said.
Juniper also forecasts the growing importance of microwave in backhaul networks, estimating that the technology will account for over 60% of the world's backhaul capacity by 2016.
Markets including India and Latin America will drive adoption of microwave backhaul. In India alone, microwave will account for 87% of capacity in five years' time.
Fiber will also take up a larger share of the market, Juniper predicts.