Wireless & Mobile Landscape

Global RAN Infrastructure Spending Forecast, 2017-2027: RAN in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific

The first part of the evolution to 5G involves the RAN (Radio Access Network) with the deployment of the first part of the 3GPP Release 15 standard called 5G NR (New Radio). The next step will be to deploy the new packet core and subsequent 3GPP releases. Historically, the majority of build and operating spending on the mobile network has been for the RAN and this is not expected to change as 5G is deployed.

5G RAN will also involve new spectrum, specifically in the mmWave and 3.5 GHz bands. While 5G is not defined by the spectrum used, iGR expects that 5G will eventually be deployed in all spectrum bands currently used today for LTE. RAN build spending will therefore continue until at least the middle of next decade, as the industry upgrades the current 4G LTE to 5G and implements new spectrum bands with 5G.

But this migration will not be without challenges for the industry. As well as the move to cloud RAN (C-RAN), increased use of small cells and virtualized solutions, the mobile operators are also increasing the use of off-the-shelf hardware and open RAN solutions. This will significantly impact the amount spent on 5G RAN, the current vendors and the opportunities for new market entrants.

This market study presents a summary of iGR’s RAN research, including build spending in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific.


Key Questions Answered

  • What are the various 3GPP standards leading up to 5G and what are they likely to contain for the RAN?
  • What is 5G? How is it defined and/or viewed right now? When will 5G be deployed?
  • What are some of the goals and use cases for 5G?
  • How will U.S. mobile operators get from their 4G LTE networks of today to tomorrow’s 5G networks?
  • What are the key RAN technologies that will enable 5G, such as Massive MIMO and beamforming?
  • How big is the LTE and 5G RAN infrastructure opportunity in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific in the next ten years?
  • How is the RAN infrastructure spending split between 4G and 5G in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific in the next ten years?
  • What is the expected impact of eCPRI and other enhancements to the Radio-baseband interface?
  • What is the expected impact of open RAN?
  • Who are some of the major vendors that will support LTE and 5G RAN over the next ten years?

Who Should Read

  • Mobile operators
  • Infrastructure OEMs
  • Small cell product and solution vendors
  • Financial analysts and investors.

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Executive Summary
  • Methodology
    • Network Model
    • Current Model Assumptions
    • 5G Model Assumptions
    • Variance from mobile operator financial disclosures
  • Basic Mobile Operator Network Architecture
    • MIMO
    • Massive MIMO
    • Wireless Spectrum
    • Cell Sites
  • 3GPP Releases and Standards
    • 3GPP Release 11
    • 3GPP Release 12
    • 3GPP Release 13
    • 3GPP Release 14-16
    • Carrier Aggregation
    • COMP
    • ICIC and eICIC
  • What is 5G?
    • Potential Requirements of 5G
  • 5G Network Needs
    • Spectrum Needs
    • Challenges Along the Road to 5G
    • What will the first 5G networks look like?
    • MIMO & Beamforming
    • MU-MIMO
    • Massive MIMO and mmWave
    • Beamforming
    • Use of MIMO and Beamforming
  • What the Industry is Doing to Prepare for 5G
    • Densification
    • In-building coverage
    • D-RAN and C-RAN
    • eCPRI
    • LTE Release 12 and Release 13
  • Front-/Backhaul in the 5G World
    • The Functional Split
    • eCPRI
    • Fronthaul Lite
    • NGIF / Xhaul
    • 5G New Radio gNB and Functional Split Options
    • In-band front/backhaul
  • RAN Infrastructure Build Cost Forecast
    • Methodology and Assumptions
    • U.S. RAN Infrastructure Build Spending
    • U.S. RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation
    • Europe RAN Infrastructure Build Spending
    • Europe RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation
    • Asia Pacific RAN Infrastructure Build Spending
    • Asia Pacific RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation
  • RAN Vendor Profiles
    • Altiostar
    • Aricent
    • ASOCS
    • Blue Danube
    • Ciena
    • CommScope
    • Ericsson
    • Fujitsu Network Communications
    • Huawei
    • Intel
    • JMA Wireless
    • Mavenir
    • NEC
    • Netsia
    • Nokia Networks
    • Radisys
    • Samsung Electron
    • ics
    • Texas Instruments
    • Viavi
  • Definitions
  • About iGR
    • Disclaimer

List of Tables

  • Table 1: CPRI/ORI Interface Specifications and projected bit-rates for RRH Links
  • Table 2a: U.S. RAN Infrastructure Build Spending, 2017-2022 ($M)
  • Table 2b: U.S. RAN Infrastructure Build Spending, 2023-2027 ($M)
  • Table 3a: U.S. RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2017-2022 ($M)
  • Table 3b: U.S. RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2023-2027 ($M)
  • Table 4a: Europe RAN Infrastructure Build Spending, 2017-2022 ($M)
  • Table 4b: Europe RAN Infrastructure Build Spending, 2023-2027 ($M)
  • Table 5a: Europe RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2017-2022 ($M)
  • Table 5b: Europe RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2023-2027 ($M)
  • Table 6a: Asia Pacific RAN Infrastructure Build Spending, 2017-2022 ($M)
  • Table 6b: Asia Pacific RAN Infrastructure Build Spending, 2023-2027 ($M)
  • Table 7a: Asia Pacific RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2017-2022 ($M)
  • Table 7b: Asia Pacific RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2023-2027 ($M)
  • Definitions Table

List of Charts and Figures

  • Figure A: RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Region, 2017-2027 ($M)
  • Figure B: RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2017-2027 ($M)
  • Figure 1: Basic Components of Cellular Voice/Data Network
  • Figure 2: Typical Macrocell Site
  • Figure 3: Carrier Aggregation, LTE-Advanced
  • Figure 4: Overview of COMP
  • Figure 5: Example of Intercell Interference
  • Figure 6: Example of Coordinated Resource Blocks via ICIC
  • Figure 7: Blanking of subframes in eICIC
  • Figure 8: Beamforming and MIMO
  • Figure 9: 2x2 MIMO
  • Figure 10: Conceptual view of MU-MIMO
  • Figure 11: Another take on MU-MIMO
  • Figure 12: Analog and Digital Beamforming for mmWave
  • Figure 13: Prototype Massive MIMO Antenna, Lund University
  • Figure 14: Other Massive MIMO Antenna Designs
  • Figure 15: Massive MIMO Antenna Designs / Systems
  • Figure 16: Conceptual view of Analog and Digital Beamforming
  • Figure 17: Inter-relation of Beamforming and MIMO
  • Figure 18: eCPRI System and Interface Definition
  • Figure 19: eCPRI Functional Splits
  • Figure 20: NGIF Diagram
  • Figure 21: Splitting the Processing
  • Figure 22: Examples of CU-DU Functional Split Configurations
  • Figure 23: U.S. RAN Infrastructure Build Spending, 2017-2027 ($M)
  • Figure 24: U.S. RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2017-2027 ($M)
  • Figure 25: U.S. RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2017-2027(%)
  • Figure 26: Europe RAN Infrastructure Build Spending, 2017-2027 ($M)
  • Figure 27: Europe RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2017-2027 ($M)
  • Figure 28: Europe RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2017-2027(%)
  • Figure 29: Asia Pacific RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Component, 2017-2027 ($M)
  • Figure 30: Asia Pacific RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2017-2027 ($M)
  • Figure 31: Asia Pacific RAN Infrastructure Build Spending by Generation, 2017-2027(%)

For additional information on the Global RAN Infrastructure Spending Forecast, 2017-2027: RAN in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific market study, please contact Iain Gillott, at (512) 263-5682 or by email.