Mobile Experts released the latest Backhaul report for 2015. With an astounding amount of growth in small cells, everyone is wondering what kinds of backhaul and fronthaul will be used to facilitate that growth. In this report, the Mobile Experts analysts identify and explain which types will be crucial to this market development.

In 2016, the market will see another major deployment where non-line of sight (NLOS) wireless backhaul will be used in large numbers. CPRI-based remote radio heads are now deployed in the tens of thousands of units with a centralized baseband pool. Deployment has been slow because of a lack of dedicated fiber; the high bandwidth requirements of the CPRI.  Different architectures are emerging that support baseband processing that is split between the radio unit and the central baseband processing center.

Principal analyst Dr. Jonathan Wells explained, "Practical challenges impair the deployment of small cell backhaul. Fiber is preferred by most operators, but the expense and the time required to deploy fiber can be unacceptable.  Today's operators are looking at wireless non-line of sight (NLOS) and line of sight (LOS) techniques seriously, and we will see some significant deployment in 2016."

He later explained, "We've introduced categories tracking backhaul, fronthaul, and midhaul to denote the distinctions in throughput, latency, and jitter requirements for different kinds of small cells.  We see a significant number of CPRI radio heads in the field today with fiber fronthaul, but split-baseband architectures are quickly coming to market which have relaxed throughput and latency requirements, allowing wireless and Ethernet techniques to be used. This report lays out a roadmap for industry migration to these new standards, with future expectations for technical requirements such as transport bandwidth."

This report includes 17 charts and diagrams to illustrate the technical and business model trends in the HetNet.  The confusing competitive landscape is clarified with listings of more than 75 companies that compete with NLOS, LOS, free space optics, fiber services, and semiconductor solutions.