Mobile Experts released a new report that predicts massive growth in wireless backhaul links for mobile communications. The new report, titled Backhaul for Small Cells, includes a five-year forecast for femtocells and picocells, and articulates the rationale for mobile operators to use wireless techniques for connecting small cells to the core network.

"Carrier-deployed femtocells and picocells will be positioned on utility poles and streetlights, where fiber or copper backhaul will not be available," said Dr. Jonathan Wells, Principal Analyst at Mobile Experts. "Our analysis indicates that wireless backhaul will be much more cost-effective than fiber in a widespread deployment of small cells."

"We expect that backhaul technology choices will change over time," continued Dr. Wells. "Initial deployments of small cells must rely heavily on wireless techniques due to lack of fiber availability. Over the longer term, latency and throughput concerns will become a stronger consideration, as operators implement advanced HetNet features such as Coordinated Multipoint (CoMP) and interference cancellation (IRC or ICIC). In the end, we predict that more than 1.8 million small cell wireless backhaul unit shipments during 2016."

The new report, Backhaul for Small Cells, can be found at