Global RAN market faces challenging business: Dell’Oro

Global RAN (radio access network) market is projected to grow at a zero percent CAGR outside of China by 2027, according to a report by Dell’Oro Group.
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The global RAN market is transitioning from the expansion phase to the next phase in this 5G journey with more challenging comparisons and slower growth — after four years of extraordinary growth that propelled the RAN market to reach new record levels.

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.

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, Dell’Oro Group said.

The global demand for 5G RAN is expected to rise at a CAGR of 28.7 percent during the years 2022 and 2032 to reach $34.2 billion in 2032, Future Market Insights said in its report earlier.

Dell’Oro Group said it has lowered its mmWave projections over the near term and enhanced for 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.

“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,” said Stefan Pongratz Vice President and analyst with the Dell’Oro Group.

Some of the 5G RAN vendors are Nokia, Ericsson, Huawei Technologies, ZTE, NEC, Samsung, Fujitsu, among others.

A recent report from MTN Consulting indicated that Capex has surged with costly 5G network upgrades, and a number of fiber buildouts, concentrated in the US and Europe.

Capex of telecoms will reach $330 billion in both 2022 and 2023, from an average of $307 billion for the prior 10 years. Capital intensity is currently at an all-time high, likely to end 2022 at 18 percent, but will drop to the 16-17 percent range by 2024.