The wireless forecast included in this report is based on research on the top 40 international mobile operator groups, which account for 80% of the global mobile subscribers (IMG-40). A total of 122 operating companies are included. From this representative group of operators, the macrocell and metrocell forecasts are developed.
From the starting point of a calculation of the number of cell sites already deployed worldwide, forecasts were made of the numbers of base stations that would be rolled out a) to brand new sites and b) to replace or upgrade existing sites. These deployment forecasts were then categorized by network topology, spectrum band, spectrum mode, region and other factors. The equipment deployed in each case was also surveyed and modeled.
These forecasts were based on a combination of data from:
- Detailed surveys, interviews and operator-by-operator modeling of the IMG-40 groups.
- Studies of the deployments and strategies of the top 100 4G operators, as tracked by Rethink Technology Research’s quarterly surveys, interviews and desk research.
- A survey of 25 tier one operators about their detailed plans for RAN deployments to 2021 and 5G plans.
- Input from ecosystem vendors on shipments, technology strategies and competitive landscape, also updated quarterly.
Based on the surveys of operators and vendors, it was then calculated how those cell sites would be equipped – by base station type, technology, frequency band etc, leading to a detailed unit and market size measurement.
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