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Ceragon: Mobile Backhaul - Fiber vs Microwave

Mobile Backhaul - Fiber vs Microwave

The advent of 3G and 4G mobile services brings with it a surge in data traffic, which in turn puts a strain on existing cellular networks. Nowhere is the demand for more available capacity felt more than in the Backhaul.

Looking into their backhaul options, operators can choose one of three physical mediums; copper, fiber or microwave. A recent report by Heavy Reading Research estimates that microwave represents nearly 50% of global backhaul deployments. The report also finds that the use of microwave is not distributed evenly across nations. In fact, microwave is frequently deployed in developing markets and in emerging markets in which fiber is not available. Microwave is also frequently used in developed markets as an alternative to costly line-leasing services offered by Telecom incumbents.

Copper networks, that according to Heavy Reading make up for nearly 20% of all backhaul deployments, are likely to decrease due to their limited capacity support and their inability to scale in a cost efficient manner. Looking forward, fiber is expected to take the place of copper based wire-line connections, and increase its overall share (albeit not at the expense of Microwave).

To read the full white paper, please click Here.