October 11, 2023
Swedish kit vendor Ericsson reckons microwave will still account for half of mobile backhaul in 2030.
This is the headline figure from the company’s latest Microwave Outlook, through which it offers a snapshot of trends in the microwave radio market. As you can see from the charts below, Ericsson expects the global rollout of fibre to macro sites to plateau at around the 50% mark as we approach 2030, when is roughly the time 6G should start to appear in the wild. That figure, it should be noted, excludes North East Asia, where fibre penetration is very high.
“Predicting the future accurately requires a good understanding of the past in combination with market and technology insights. This is what makes Microwave Outlook a highly relevant report, said Mikael Öhberg, acting Head of Microwave Systems at Ericsson. “As we release the 10th edition, we are glad to see that during the past decade of its publishing, Ericsson Microwave Outlook has come to be considered the primary source of insights and trends in the wireless backhaul industry.”
In the report Ericsson was keen to talk up the prospects of E-band (71 GHz to 86 GHz) as fertile ground for increasing microwave capacity, as well as some fairly arcane stuff to do with antenna innovation. Ericsson doesn’t do fibre, so it has a clear interest in promoting the virtues of microwave backhaul. That’s doesn’t mean it’s wrong, though.
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