Research company Dell’Oro Group warned the global RAN market faced more challenges and a general slowdown over the next five years, as the market transitions to the next phase of 5G following four years of record growth.
In a report, Dell’Oro forecast investment in RAN in China and North America will decline by a mid-single-digit level annually in the five years to 2027, while less advanced mobile broadband regions will grow. At the same time. 5G RAN will experience an overall rise of between 25 per cent and 30 per cent.
Outside of China, the global RAN market is forecast to be flat over the period, with Dell’Oro noting the predicted gains in the 5G segment “will barely be enough to offset the steep declines in LTE”.
Dell’Oro noted mmWave projections had been revised downward over the near term, while small cell RAN revenue is tipped to continue its momentum and grow by more than 20 per cent by 2027.
Stefan Pongratz, VP and analyst at Dell’Oro, acknowledged it was 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”.
He added that even with expected changes in capital intensities as 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 to 4G”.
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