This article is for the EU leader, central to tens of billions of subsidies, who said “Of course, 5G requires fiber.” Fiber is great, but microwave has the same latency or maybe less. It has plenty of capacity.
Verizon, spending billions on fiber, is also increasing the share of microwave backhaul from 10% to 20%. Ericsson agrees
Myth 4: Microwave is not a viable transport media for 5G
The steady evolution of backhaul over the last 40 years has been a response and adaptation to the requirements from new services enabled by new generation of mobile technology. The key to increased capacity is accessing new frequency bands, wider channel bandwidths, higher modulation schemes and other spectrum efficient solutions.
Microwave technology is being used for both 5G backhaul and fronthaul, and is continuously evolving. 100 Gbps speed is already verified.
As far as I know, the 100 Gbps microwave in the Ericsson illustration is not in commercial use. But 10 & 20 Gbps links are common and increasingly affordable.
Fiber is great but sometimes too expensive.