C-RAN market forecast and telecoms strategy by SNS Research

C-RAN market forecastMobile operators are expected to invest nearly $9 billion in C-RAN (Centralized Radio Access Network) infrastructure in 2017.

The global C-RAN networks market is expected to grow at 24 percent CAGR between 2017 and 2020. These investments will include spending on RRHs (Remote Radio Heads), BBUs (Baseband Units) and fronthaul transport network equipment.

Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, China Mobile, Vodafone, TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile), Orange and Telefonica are expected to make investment in C-RAN in order to leverage the benefits of centralized baseband processing, said SNS Research.

C-RAN provides significant performance and economic benefits such as baseband pooling, enhanced coordination between cells, virtualization, network extensibility, smaller deployment footprint and reduced power consumption.

Telecom operators will also be deploying small cells as part of C-RAN architecture to gain from resource pooling and multi-cell coordination. Technology vendors and their solutions are CommScope’s OneCell, Ericsson’s Radio Dot, and Huawei’s LampSite focusing on the indoor and enterprise segments.

The report said operators are exploring multiple baseband functional split options for C-RAN implementation, as they seek to ease the transition to 5G networks while reducing fronthaul costs.

vRAN/Cloud RAN deployments with virtualized baseband processing will account for nearly 20 percent of all C-RAN investments.