Thursday, April 12, 2012

Infonetics: Millimeter Wave Gear Forecast to Grow at 63% CAGR

While the overall microwave equipment market grew 4% in 4Q11 over 3Q11, to $1.35 billion worldwide, for the full year 2011, the microwave equipment market was down 6% to $5.3 billion, according to a newly published report from Infonetics Research. Unit shipments increased during 2011, but the market was dragged down by rapidly declining TDM equipment sales and price erosion in the hybrid TDM/Ethernet segment.

“Although the microwave equipment market ended down a bit in 2011 compared to the previous year, the market is poised to return to growth as LTE backhaul needs accelerate, particularly Ethernet microwave gear," expects Richard Webb, directing analyst for microwave at Infonetics Research. "Meanwhile, the millimeter wave
equipment space was characterized in 2011 by ‘the Clearwire effect’ as Clearwire shifted from their nationwide WiMAX rollout in the US—for which they heavily invested in millimeter wave in 2010 for short-distance backhaul—to prepare for a transition to LTE."

Infonetics remains bullish on this emerging market, forecasting a 63% compound annual growth rate for millimeter wave equipment revenue from 2011 to 2016. Some highlights:

  • Huawei stole the microwave equipment market share lead in 4Q11, though leader Ericsson maintained its #1 position for annual revenue for the third consecutive year in 2011.

  • Infonetics forecasts Ethernet-only microwave equipment to grow nearly 5-fold from 2011 to 2016

  • The global microwave equipment market (including TDM, hybrid, and Ethernet-only equipment) is forecast by Infonetics to total $5.6 billion in 2016.

  • As the proportion of small cells increases in 3G and 4G networks, microwave likely will establish itself as the primary backhaul solution for outdoor small cells, driving continued microwave unit shipment growth.

See also