According to a newly published forecast report by Dell’Oro Group, the trusted source for market information about the telecommunications, security, networks, and data center industries, after four years of extraordinary growth that propelled the radio access network (RAN) market to reach new record levels, the RAN market is now transitioning from the expansion phase to the next phase in this 5G journey with more challenging comparisons and slower growth.
“It is still early days in the 5G journey but at the same time, the coverage and capacity phases that have shaped the capex cycles with previous technology generations still hold,” said Stefan Pongratz Vice President and analyst with the Dell’Oro Group. “Still, even with the expected changes in capital intensities as the operators reach their initial 5G coverage targets, the plethora of 5G frequencies taken together with the upside from FWA and eventually private 5G, will curb the peak-to-trough decline relative to 2G-4G,” continued Pongratz.
Additional highlights from the Mobile RAN 5-Year January 2023 Forecast Report:
- Global RAN is projected to grow at a zero percent CAGR outside of China by 2027.
- The less advanced MBB regions are expected to grow while RAN investments in both China and North America are expected to decline at mid-single digit CAGRs over the forecast period.
- 5G RAN is expected to grow another 25 percent to 30 percent by 2027, though this will barely be enough to offset steep declines in LTE.
- mmWave projections have been revised downward over the near term and upward in the outer part of the forecast to reflect the potential upside with higher EIRP solutions.
- Small cell RAN revenue growth has been outpacing macros for some time now and these trends are expected to extend throughout the forecast period, with small cell RAN revenues growing more than 20 percent by 2027.