Ericsson's 2020 Microwave Outlook Report Addresses Steps to Enhance 5G Deployment

Ericsson has released the Ericsson Microwave Outlook 2020 report that provides insight and trends up until 2025. With the increasing transport demands from the switch on of 5G, the report also discusses how to deal with scattered spectrum and new ways of planning with differentiated availability and multi-band booster.

5G is here, meaning that backhaul capacity requirements will increase for Radio Access Network (RAN) sites. In 2025, the needs in urban areas will vary from 3Gbps to 20Gbps, as communications service providers deploy different amounts of New Radio (NR) spectrum and advanced RAN features. In rural areas, it could vary from as much as 300Mbps to 2Gbps in 2025.

To support these demands, the perfect balance of fiber and microwave backhaul will be essential. Fiber will be very important to core and inner-city aggregation sites with extremely high capacity requirements. Microwave will mainly be used as last-mile access in urban and dense urban areas, whereas a combination of last-mile and aggregation links will be appropriate for suburban and rural areas. By 2025, 38 percent of backhaul connections are predicted to be based on microwave globally. This corresponds to 62 percent when excluding the fiber-dense countries China, South Korea and Japan.

Key Highlights from the Report:
  • With 5G the capacity needs in urban areas will in 2025 vary from 3Gbps to 20Gbps, as operators deploy different amounts of New Radio (NR) spectrum and advanced RAN features.
  • By 2025, 62 percent of backhaul connections are predicted to be based on microwave globally, when excluding the fiber-dense countries China, South Korea and Japan.
  • With ever-increasing capacity demands it becomes more important to differentiate the availability of the backhaul. Our simulations show that availability can be relaxed in capacity-demanding services like video without negative impact on user Quality of Experience.
  • E-band and Multi-band booster solutions are well positioned as future-proof wireless backhaul technologies when the traffic loads increase in 5G and beyond.
  • A hot topic in backhaul spectrum is how we will use 6GHz in the future.

Use of 6 GHz for long-range backhaul

As 5G is switched on at an incredible pace, several transport aspects like spectrum usage, differentiated availability and the mix of fiber and microwave become more important than ever.

Click here to download the complete Microwave Report 2020.