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Complimentary Advisory Report

Small-Cell Backhaul Vendor Landscape, Part 1: Major RAN Vendors

| Jan 25, 2013 | Mobile Access Infrastructure
| Analyst: Ed Gubbins, Senior Analyst, Mobile Access Infrastructure

In 2012, major radio access network (RAN) vendors unanimously embraced small cells as a way for operators to add capacity into the network using existing spectrum. However, since small cells introduce new deployment scenarios (on streetlamps, for example, where fiber may be unavailable), they also introduce significant backhaul challenges.

To that end, vendors have proposed a range of wireless approaches, including sub-6 GHz, 60 GHz, and E-Band solutions, to backhaul traffic from these new locations back to the rest of the network. While startups focused on each of those approaches argued for their superiority over the others, major vendors gradually favored a toolkit approach that used a combination of them. However, different vendors have filled their toolkits in different ways.

This report – the first of three examining the small-cell backhaul landscape – examines the differences between major vendors’ small-cell backhaul toolkits. Subsequent reports will focus on specialists and startup vendors in the space.

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