Dell’Oro forecasts RAN market downturn to continue

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The global Radio Access Network (RAN) market will continue its downturn over the next few years, according to a new report from Dell’Oro Group.

Dell’Oro forecasts that RAN revenues will decline at a compound annual growth rate of one percent through 2024. This comes on the heels of massive 40 percent growth from 2017 to 2021, when the market was boosted by initial 5G network builds.

Growth stabilised in 2022 but is expected to drop sharply in 2023, led by a pullback in India, previously one of the hottest RAN markets. Beyond 2023, Dell’Oro expects more moderate declines through 2024.

“The big picture has not changed. MBB-based investments are now slowing and the upside with new growth areas including FWA and private wireless is still too small to change the trajectory,” explained Stefan Pongratz, VP at Dell’Oro Group.

Pongratz added that some markets may see reduced near-term capacity upgrade needs after deploying ample mid-band 5G spectrum, weighing further on RAN demand.

Dell’Oro identified Asia Pacific as likely to lead the market decline over the next five years. North America should fare better by comparison after steep drops in 2023.

In addition, Dell’Oro warned that anticipated 5G-Advanced networks are unlikely to drive another major wave of operator capital spending on RAN gear.

The report did forecast ongoing growth in several key RAN segments like 5G New Radio, fixed wireless access, mmWave, Massive MIMO, Open RAN, private wireless networks, small cells, and virtualised RAN. However, Dell’Oro does not expect it to be enough to counter more extensive legacy market declines.

A full copy of the report can be found here (paywall)

(Photo by Trent Haaland on Unsplash)

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