Ericsson released its 2023 Microwave Outlook report, a technology report focusing on microwave backhaul networks, with in-depth articles on current and emerging trends.
The 10th edition of the report highlights the potential of E-band spectrum (ranging from 71 GHz to 86 GHz) to meet the backhaul needs beyond 2030. Already deployable in 90% of the world, the report predicts a 50/50 split between fiber and microwaves by 2030. Innovations like sway compensation antennas and AI-driven automation reduce costs, enhance performance, and cut site visits by 40%, with further reductions expected.
Additional key findings include:
* A surge in dual polarized antenna usage (70%) with ability to achieve longer hops with specific antenna sizes
* E-band’s ability while predicting a shift towards fiber-connected sites, reaching a 50/50 split with microwave solutions by 2030 with microwaves serving areas lacking fiber in rural regions
* How AI-driven automation reduces operational costs for managing microwave networks substantially, minimizing troubleshooting time, cutting site visits, and enhancing overall prediction and planning within microwave networks
* A 0.6 m sway compensation antenna enables 30% longer hops than a 0.3 m regular antenna, while a 0.9 m sway antenna enables 80% longer hops than a regular antenna
The report also shows the trend of a gradual increase in the share of fiber-connected installed sites vis-à-vis those connected with microwave solutions, reaching a 50/50 split by 2030. Microwave solutions will be the main connectivity option where fiber is unavailable, and the preferred solution in rural areas where fiber investments can be challenging.
Innovation is in focus with the report looking at how new antenna designs enable better use of required spectrum in dense networks, lower spectrum costs and improve performance. For example, *0.9 meter sway compensation antennas provide 80 percent longer hops than 0.3 m regular antennas. The value of other antenna innovations such as muti-band and water-repellent radomes is also highlighted.
“Predicting the future accurately requires a good understanding of the past in combination with market and technology insights. This is what makes Microwave Outlook a highly relevant report, says Mikael Öhberg, acting Head of Microwave Systems, Business Area Networks, Ericsson. “As we release the 10th edition, we are glad to see that during the past decade of its publishing, Ericsson Microwave Outlook has come to be considered the primary source of insights and trends in the wireless backhaul industry.”
Microwave Outlook is a technology report focusing on microwave backhaul networks, with in-depth articles on current and emerging trends and developments in different areas that can be of interest for communications service providers who are using, or considering the use, of microwave backhaul in their network.