Published   Wireless Watch

RAN Research – Don’t become a 5G dinosaur

Dinosaur-Illustration medium

Don’t become a 5G Dinosaur

There will be many operators and telecommunication’s suppliers whose strategy will not fit in with the core 5G concepts. And like Dinosaurs, they will be in trouble.

If you stick to what you know and fail to see new technology and new methods for planning, then there will be fatalities along the way
From not understanding;

  • How quickly 5G will come
  • How long LTE and LTE-A will stay around
  • When small cell uptake will accelerate
  • When data pricing will stop falling
  • How much opportunity enterprise, M2M and LPWAN will add

Sometimes it seems that 5G is a meteor aimed straight at your business, and you have just found your niche in 4G.

And it’s not just the single meteor of 5G that is causing consternation. There are other technology clouds blocking a clear view ahead – smartphone costs, backhaul topologies, spectrum mismatches, ARPU deceleration, cashflow constraints, and irresponsible consumers wanting UHD video everywhere.

For operators to make money out of 5G, they need new markets and want to pay far less for their equipment – otherwise they are dinosaurs. You need to be nimble to survive.

RAN Research offers exactly that – a series of forecasts about every type of Radio Access Network technology – including timing and shipment accelerations for all of these topics, as 5G arrives.

  • Enterprise small cells
  • MNO WiFi
  • RAN optimization
  • Cloud-RAN
  • SON Trends
  • NFV trends
  • SON deployments
  • Small Cell Deployments
  • HetNet Market forecast
  • Wholesale, sharing and NWaaS

Rethink taps directly into the plans and buying patterns of every major Mobile Network Operator. Only MNOs know for sure what they are buying. Only Rethink Research has built the trust of those MNOs, to establish these forecasts.

Have a sensible conversation with us about RAN Research and we promise we will not leave in the lurch when the market changes direction.

The slow nature of building complex networks, the end of smartphone additions; the commoditization of the device; prohibitive backhaul costs; the location of 50 times more sites for base-stations; the perfection of Virtualization, SDN and SON; the imperfect radio planning in millimeter wave spectrum- all these and more make 5G one of the most significant technological changes for years to come. And unless we get ALL of this right, businesses will be victims of 5G rather than beneficiaries.

Rethink’s RAN Research shows you the shape of the industry after 5G has landed and points to a time when VR, AI, V2V and IoT stalk the Earth.

Sometimes taking the pulse of the industry is vital….
Other times it is simply too late.

RAN Research is produced by Caroline Gabriel  who is a household name among 5G protagonists. She has been an expert in RAN since 2003 and has been advising on technology for 28 years and is a co-founder of Rethink Technology Research and operates as our research director . She is expert in all forms of Wireless communication and is available for high level consultations of all types.

To deliver the RAN Research Service, we have talked to hundreds of operators, and talk to many of them on a regular basis, and they have told us about their short term (fully committed) spending plans and their longer term spending expectations (planned) and they have outlined what they think their spending plans will be during this transition period.

RAN Research, is the only service which forecasts 5G base station deployment from the demand side – by taking into account what operators can afford to spend and plan to spend, rather than listen to what vendors tell you they will sell. That’s one good way to survive it.

Each of the RAN Research modules contain between 6 and 15 data tables plus regional breakdown, with accompanying commentary consisting of graphs and concise commentary on the assumptions underlying the forecasts, and the key factors driving them.

The wireless forecast included in the modules are based on research on the top 40 international mobile operator groups, which account for 80% of the global mobile subscribers (IMG-40). 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 2019.
  • 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.


The report modules are as follows:

Small Cells

Module 1: Small cells deployments and installed base 2014-2020

Module 2: Enterprise small cells 2014-2020

Module 3: MNO WiFi deployments and installed base 2014-2020


Module 1: HetNet deployments and key trends 2015-2020

Module 2: Macro layer deployments and key trends 2015-2020


Module 1: SON deployments and key trends 2014-2020

Module 2: RAN optimization deployments and key trends inc VoLTE 2014-2020

Mobile network ownership, MVNOs and NWaaS

Module 1 : Wholesale, sharing and NWaaS 2015-2020


Module 1: Cloud-RAN deployments and key trends 2015-2020

Module 2: NFV and SDN deployments and key trends 2015-2020

For many of our customers, RAN Research is a starting point, the reports form a basis for bespoke research. If you have budget, if you are a decision maker in your business and need our services to help you survive the transition to 5G, then contact us now.

See the attached for a blank set of data tables, that covers the RAN Research modules RAN Research Data tables

click here