It was a great year for the Microwave Transmission market in 2022 due to the growing demand for wireless mobile backhaul (MBH). In fact, following an 11% growth in microwave MBH revenue in 2021, the market is expected to grow an additional 8% in 2022, based on the data we have collected so far in the first nine months of the year. Unsurprisingly, this demand for microwave MBH equipment is being driven by 5G, since operators are either preparing their networks to deploy 5G or are actively installing a 5G network.
We believe 5G will continue to be a market driver in 2023 and, as a result, project another year of single-digit percent growth. However, we anticipate two significant changes in the Microwave Transmission market to occur this year.
The first is the return of the India market. India is one of the countries with the largest use of microwave equipment for MBH, making it a crucial element to the overall market size. During the peak 4G deployment cycle, more than 20% of all microwave radio transceivers were shipped to India. Since then, deployments have considerably shrunk with the declining installations of new 4G base stations. This, however, is expected to reverse because the country has just concluded the auction of 5G spectrum and will ramp microwave deployments for 5G MBH through 2023. Hence, we are expecting India to be a major contributor to the overall market once again.
The second change we are expecting to occur in 2023 is the use of E-band systems in India. Although a large share of MBH in India is achieved through wireless backhaul systems, E-band systems were never used since the spectrum was unavailable. This will change in 2023 since the E-band spectrum has been made available with the 5G spectrum auction, and the standard microwave frequencies such as 13 GHz and 15 GHz are congested due to the large number of 4G base stations using them. Therefore, we anticipate a very large use of E-band systems in India to begin this year, with a number of vendors having already been awarded E-band equipment contracts in the country.
2023 should be another great year for the Microwave Transmission market.