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Worldwide Microwave Equipment Trends

Infonetics Research released its microwave equipment market size, market share, and forecast report. The report tracks access and backhaul/transport PDH/SDH microwave equipment and Ethernet and dual Ethernet/TDM microwave equipment.

"The big trend in the microwave equipment market is the transition from TDM to Ethernet. Microwave enables mobile operators to make phased upgrades of their backhaul networks from TDM-only to hybrid TDM/Ethernet systems to packet-based all-Ethernet solutions in the future, said Richard Webb, Infonetics Research analyst.

This offers a scalable and cost-effective roadmap for managing the escalating bandwidth demands driven by the mobile broadband boom, and future 4G deployments.

Typically, operators will keep legacy TDM microwave for another 5-10 years to support 2G/3G voice while deploying Ethernet for growing volumes of data traffic.

The Infonetics market study highlights include:

- Worldwide microwave equipment sales hit $4.9 billion in 2008, up 23 percent from the previous year.

- Despite a tough macroeconomic climate, mobile operators continue to invest in mobile backhaul to accommodate rapidly rising mobile broadband traffic -- the primary driver behind strong microwave equipment market growth.

- Dual TDM/Ethernet equipment makes up the bulk of microwave backhaul equipment, enabling mobile operators to continue to support TDM for voice traffic and simultaneously leverage the higher capacity capabilities of Ethernet to manage the exponential growth in data traffic.

- Microwave is increasingly used as an access technology in developing countries where there is more frequently a dearth of viable wireline access alternatives for enterprises and organizations with growing bandwidth needs.

- A secondary technology trend of the microwave market is the transition from point-to-point (P2P) to point-to-multipoint (P2MP) architectures, which enable cost-saving benefits.

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