Microwave short haul radios drive the microwave market. Being that radios are used predominantly for mobile backhaul, mobile operators like the flexibility and compact size that short haul radios offer. Millimeter wave radios will start to make a larger impact, although they are a small piece of the market today. These higher frequency radios are being driven by E Band 70-80 GHz radios.
Due to the heavy focus on mobile backhaul, the microwave radio market is led by Tier 1 vendors who also sell RAN equipment. Outside of these vendors, are a handful of vendors that are strong contenders with innovative gear, each focusing on slightly different attributes. Regional demand has much to do with market share, since mobile operators and vertical markets tend to do business with domestic companies.
The majority of capacity required at mobile backhaul sites is 400 Mbps–1 Gbps. This is likely to be the case for the next few years. As 5G networks, roll out, more capacity will be required in areas with a high concentration of people, driving the need for 1+ Gbps at more and more sites. With the recent innovations by microwave manufacturers, radios will be able to handle these high capacities (10+ Gbps), fully meeting the needs of 5G backhaul.
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