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Current Analysis: Vendors Must Offer a Clear Vision for the Small-Cell Backhaul Toolkit

Analyst, Ed Gubbins, explores the vendor landscape in a series of three reports

Sterling, VA, USA, February 13, 2013 – Current Analysis, the market leader in continuous, tactical competitive intelligence for the telecommunications and information technology markets, announced today a series of reports covering the small-cell backhaul vendor landscape as it pertains to Radio Access Network (RAN) vendors, backhaul vendors and startups addressing the space.

“Small cells have been unilaterally accepted over the past year as the preeminent way to add capacity using existing spectrum,” said Peter Jarich, Vice President of Consumer and Infrastructure at Current Analysis. “The challenge, however, is that as new deployment scenarios develop, lack of fiber complicates backhaul approaches.”

These reports, written by Ed Gubbins, Senior Analyst, Mobile Access Infrastructure at Current Analysis, offer a detailed view into wireless toolkits and notable trends, as well as what specific vendors are now offering and how their approaches differ. Key findings include:

  • RAN vendors did not fully appreciate how much of a departure small cells are from macrocells and the unique challenges they pose.
  • Beyond the major RAN vendors, this space has seen a mix of seasoned specialists such as BridgeWave and Cambridge Broadband along with greener startups such as Siklu and Sub10.
  • Vendors have proposed a range of technological approaches using different spectrum bands. The most common of these approaches fall into three categories: sub-6 GHz, 60 GHz (also called V-band) and 70/80 GHz (also called E-band).

“The mix of different approaches to tackling small-cell backhaul ignited debate about the relative strengths and weaknesses of each technology,” commented Mr. Gubbins. “Vendors now need to move beyond that debate, giving operators a clear vision for how each of these tools is best applied and how the overall backhaul network is best architected to meet the unique challenges posed by small cells.”

Part one of the series of reports covers major RAN vendors, while part two details the landscape of high-frequency specialists, including microwave and millimeter wave solutions. Part three will be released in the coming weeks, providing analysis of the low-frequency specialists in the market. For a complimentary download of part one in this three-part series, Small-Cell Backhaul Vendor Landscape: Major RAN Vendors, please go to

About Current Analysis

Current Analysis ( is the only provider of continuous, in-depth tactical competitive intelligence, analysis, and advice. The company has been helping leading telecommunications, information technology, and business software companies improve their competitive intelligence, differentiate themselves in the market, and win more business. For more than 15 years, sales teams, product managers, marketing professionals, and executives have relied on Current Analysis as a trusted partner to improve their ability to anticipate and quickly take action on market opportunities and competitive threats. The company serves more than 35,000 professionals at over 1,600 global enterprises.


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