Rethink conducted extensive stakeholder interviews of operators, vendors, infrastructure service providers and cloud companies and used this information together with 15 years of refined data from operator surveys as a foundation for this report. The global panel of MNOs discuss their network adoption plans, technologies and economics in relation to RAN automation, including vRAN and Open RAN.
The report and forecast dives into operator strategies, and discusses key drivers, and barriers to automating the RAN, and predicts the intensity with which MNOs will reduce OPEX in the next two years, as recession looms and inflation rises.
The report investigates the many challenges, both organizational, and cultural, that MNOs face to make the decisions needed. Which new RAN architectures will be deployed and when, and the RIC use cases. The report puts you in the room with the operators to understand their strategies.
“Rethink forecasts that MNOs will spend $32bn from 2022 to 2026, and of that $7bn will go on RAN automation. Of that forecast amount $3bn will be spent on components related to vRAN or Open RAN, showing that most MNOs’ RAN automation strategies will be closely linked with vRAN and/or Open RAN.”
MNOs are looking at automation, not just as a necessary step for vRAN, but as a way of reducing OPEX, especially those with a large NOC. Some MNOs aim to reduce NOC operating cost by a factor of up to 20%, and some have already taken these steps.
But automation of the RAN delivers more than just reduced OPEX, it also allows MNOs to deploy an agile and responsive cloud-based network that will allow introduction of new services, whilst adapting to changes in traffic and customer demand.