Mobile network cell sites using millimeter wave will need backhaul in urban locations up to 1 Gbps, up to 350 Mbps in suburban areas and up to 150 Mbps in rural areas, Ericsson predicts. By 2025, urban sites will require backhaul up to 20 Gbps, suburban sites will need capacity up to 5 Gbps, while rural sites might need 600 Mbps.
As a matter of strategy, it is worth noting that Ericsson sees new backhaul supporting both advanced 4G and 5G. Also, most of the capacity upgrades will be supported by optical fiber backhaul, with microwave backhaul most useful for short links. Longer links beyond 1,000 meters (.6 miles) routinely will use optical fiber.