According to a recent ABI Research report, the global RAN (Radio Access Network) baseband and small-cell-equipment market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 8% to exceed US$32 billion in 2025, including both outdoor and indoor RAN equipment comprising macro-basebands, outdoor small cells, indoor small cells and DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems).
“Multiple technologies are converging in today’s RAN as network operators move to densify macro-networks with small cells, tackle in-building wireless and evolve to new technologies such as 5G, LAA (Licensed Assisted Access), unlicensed and shared spectrum technologies such as OnGo in the United States, and MulteFire,” said Nick Marshall, Research Director at ABI Research. “These transitions are occurring against a backdrop of continuous technology evolution as networks upgrade to include MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output), Massive MIMO, 256 QAM, and carrier aggregation.”
Spending on indoor equipment, which represents 30% of this market today, will grow at a 17.7% CAGR to 49% of the total by 2025. The Asia Pacific region, which includes some of the largest and growing RAN markets in the world, will continue to dominate the market with a share of 60% of the market, with Europe and North America ranking a distant second and third respectively. Sales of infrastructure equipment will continue to be dominated by replacement and upgrades to 4G, but the ramp of 5G equipment gaining share starting in 2019 will reach parity with 4G around 2021 and continue to grow to represent 90% of this equipment market worldwide in 2025.
“In this convergence era, an unprecedented number of non-mutually exclusive technologies and architectures are uniting to provide wireless capacity and coverage both indoors and outdoors,” Marshall concluded. “As the industry starts commercial 5G deployments outdoors in 2019, we anticipate that the requirements for good coverage and capacity indoors will drive signal sources indoors and provide momentum to the in-building wireless market.