Global RAN Revenues Witness Steep Declines for Second Consecutive Quarter in 3Q 2023

The latest report from Dell’Oro Group has revealed a concerning trend in the global Radio Access Network (RAN) market, citing a second consecutive quarter of significant declines in revenues during 3Q 2023. The primary driver behind this downturn has been reduced RAN investments, particularly in North America.
5G smartphone user in ArgentinaThis recent slump stands in stark contrast to the impressive growth witnessed between 2017 and 2021 when global RAN revenues surged by an astounding 40 to 50 percent. However, the current downturn reflects a different scenario.

Stefan Pongratz, Vice President for RAN market research at Dell’Oro Group, highlighted, “The asynchronous nature of the 5G rollouts is in this case helping to cushion some of the blow in the US, though clearly not enough.” He further explained, “This remarkable RAN/capex decline in the US market is partially offset by more favorable conditions elsewhere.”

The report suggests that the optimistic sentiment outside North America is largely attributable to the increasing 5G rollout in India, coupled with positive trends observed in the Middle East and Africa region. Moreover, investments in Mobile Broadband (MBB) remain relatively high compared to pre-5G levels in most advanced 5G markets, except for North America.

Key highlights from the 3Q 2023 RAN report include:

Top RAN suppliers in 3Q 2023 are Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, ZTE, and Samsung.

Ericsson and Nokia are gaining revenue share in markets outside North America.

Excluding North America, global RAN revenues recorded a third consecutive quarter of growth.

Despite the current setbacks, the trajectory of the RAN market remains unaffected. Having peaked in 2021, the market is anticipated to continue its decline in 2023 and 2024. However, the pace of this decline is expected to ease in 2024, although challenges persist, particularly with the negative shift in India.

The RAN market, while experiencing a downturn, continues to evolve amidst regional variations and shifting investment patterns. The forthcoming quarters are poised to reflect both the challenges and potential opportunities as the global telecommunications landscape adapts to these market dynamics.