The growing competition in the Open RAN domain is expected to develop the Open RAN ecosystem in the next couple of years. Global technology intelligence firm ABI Research forecasts the Open RAN market will continue an upward, albeit slow, growth trajectory to reach 6% to 8% of the overall RAN market by the end of 2024.
“Currently, Open RAN vendors including Samsung, Mavenir, NEC, Fujitsu, Rakuten Symphony and Parallel Wireless hold around 95-97% of total open RAN market share whereas, incumbent vendors including Ericsson started to develop their Open RAN ecosystem and the industry is expected to see a turn-around during the second half of 2024,” states Saqlain Ali, 5G, 6G and Open RAN Senior Analyst at ABI Research.
Open RAN vendors, including Mavenir, NEC, Samsung, Fujitsu, and Rakuten Symphony, are leading early open RAN deployments, and they are expected to face fierce competition from incumbent vendors, including Ericsson and Nokia. Considering their global presence in the RAN market, Nokia and Ericsson are in a solid position to carry out massive-scale open RAN deployments in the next few years. For example, Ericsson has recently won a considerable deal with AT&T to deploy Open RAN in the United States and claimed the availability of its O-RAN-compliant radios by the start of 2024. Moreover, Nokia is partnering with Tier-1 operators, including DT and NTT DOCOMO, and open RAN vendors, including Mavenir, to accelerate their open RAN footprint worldwide.
“While the open RAN ecosystem is not mature, small-scale deployments will continue for the next few years. However, with further advancements related to open RAN silicon, multi-vendor interoperability, and testing, and the availability of RIC and ULPI interface for Massive MIMO could result in more favorable results, and an inflection point could happen between 2027 and 2028,” Ali concludes. ABI Research