Small Cell Backhaul Equipment Market Reaches $5B in 2018

17 Oct 2013

ABI Research expects the market for small cell backhaul equipment to grow to over $5 billion in 2018, up from a forecast $487 million for 2013 representing a 48% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

Sub 6GHz technology will capture over 47% of small cell backhaul equipment revenue, or $2.4 billion with 31% of last mile links in 2018, while millimeter wave technology becomes the fastest growing technology over the forecast period, growing at 113% CAGR to reach a value of $668 million. Traditional microwave equipment remains a top technology for small cell backhaul applications with 34% share of revenue or almost $1.8 billion and 25% share of links in 2018.

“Thanks to its NLOS properties, sub 6GHz backhaul becomes the most popular backhaul technology for small cells by 2018,” says Nick Marshall, principal analyst at ABI Research. ABI Research believes that the millimeter wave bands from 60GHz to 80GHz will also prove compelling for small cell backhaul in many situations.

“We believe that 4G/LTE small cell solutions will again drive most of the microwave and fiber backhaul growth in metropolitan, urban, and suburban areas with backhaul for 4G/LTE small cells reaching a value of $3.1 billion in 2018, growing at 2X the rate for 3G and surpassing 3G in 2016,” continues Marshall.

In two new reports ABI Research outlines the advantages and disadvantages of the main backhaul technologies for small cell backhaul. For wired backhaul we examine the differences between Fiber, DSL, FTTx and Cable/HFC systems and for wireless we distinguish between sub 6GHz licensed and unlicensed, Microwave, 60GHz V-Band, 70/80GHz E-Band, TV White Space (TVWS) and Satellite. In addition our Market Data forecast, MD-SMBAC-101 provides small cell backhaul forecasts by technology, region and population density (urban, suburban and rural).

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Mobile Backhaul and Small Cells and Carrier Wi-Fi Research Services.

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit, or call +1.516.624.2500.

About ABI Research

ABI Research is a global technology intelligence firm uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology solution providers and end-market companies. We serve as the bridge that seamlessly connects these two segments by providing exclusive research and expert guidance to drive successful technology implementations and deliver strategies proven to attract and retain customers.

ABI Research 是一家全球性的技术情报公司,拥有得天独厚的优势,充当终端市场公司和技术解决方案提供商之间的桥梁,通过提供独家研究和专业性指导,推动成功的技术实施和提供经证明可吸引和留住客户的战略,无缝连接这两大主体。

For more information about ABI Research’s services, contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific, or visit

Contact ABI Research

Media Contacts

Americas: +1.516.624.2542
Europe: +44.(0).203.326.0142
Asia: +65 6950.5670

Related Service