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RAN Research

RAN Research releases 6 forecasts a year, covering Small cells, the structure of 5G, Optimization and SON, Macro Layer RAN, Cloud RAN and Mobile Edge Computing.

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    The RAN Research arm of Rethink Technology Research is an essential reading for anyone who wants to stay on top of current trends and thinking among MNOs.  It’s like being a fly on the wall in their planning meetings and is based on questions MNOs have answered about their planned and future expenditure.

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7 October 2021

Migration choices and dilemmas in vRAN and Open RAN

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    Advanced mobile operators have embarked on their journey to fully cloud-based networks, but the virtualized RAN is usually the final stage on the roadmap, because of its enormous technical challenges and uncertain economics. However, several developments are converging so that the incentives to embark on RAN virtualization outweigh the significant risks.

    Improved technology enablers and market conditions will drive a 60% CAGR in operating spending on vRAN as a whole, and 124% CAGR in the Open RAN subset of that sector, between 2020 and 2026. This will result in spending of $35 billion by 2026. In terms of numbers of radio units deployed, the CAGR figures are predicted to be 34% and 184% respectively.

    These are the headline conclusions of the latest report from Rethink Technology Research’s RAN service, “Migration choices and dilemmas in vRAN and Open RAN”, which is published this week. The report is based on a unique forecast model that draws on many inputs including a survey, conducted in June-August 2021, of 78 mobile operators worldwide that have vRAN on their roadmap for the period to 2026.

    For more information contact:

    John Constant
    [email protected]
    Office +44 (0)7468 460739

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2 August 2021

Advanced Private Wireless Forecast: 5G and WiFi 6E

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    Private 5G network deployments will surge over the next few years faster even than public 5G, reaching a peak in 2027 when they will generate $19.3 billion in equipment sales, before subsiding after that as saturation approaches. There will be a similar boom in deployment of enterprise WiFi networks around the latest 6E standard offering greater capacity and performance than the current generation, closer to 5G. However, that WiFi growth will be confined largely to North America and Europe, and will peak earlier in 2024, after which an increasing number of sites will swing to 5G for more demanding use cases.

    These are key findings of the latest forecast, “Private Networks Driving Opportunities in 5G and WiFi” from RAN Research, the wireless forecasting arm of Rethink Technology Research. The Private Networs forecast drills down into regions and vertical industry sectors, identifying manufacturing as a major driver for private enterprise 5G in line with the industry 4.0 revolution, but with strong growth across the board. Healthcare, transportation, energy and government stand out as other sectors where deployments of private 5G and WiFi 6E will take off faster than the average.

    This private networks forecast will be valuable for all players in the private enterprise wireless space, particularly mobile operators and their technology providers. It is also aimed at enterprises themselves, particularly larger ones more likely to be actively involved in private network deployment. The private networks forecast is also of great interest to the large number of new entrants to the mobile field on the back of the private network growth. These include traditional providers of enterprise data center systems, as well as start-ups specializing in the private network field.

    For more information contact:

    John Constant
    [email protected]
    Office +44 (0)7468 460739

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10 June 2021

Patterns of migration to the 5G core

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    Rethink Technology Research has released its latest report, written by Caroline Gabriel, Research Director and Co-Founder, the report is entitled, ‘Patterns of migration to the 5G core’. The report, based on a survey of 78 Tier 1 and Tier 2 mobile operators from a global panel, includes extensive stakeholder interviews with operators, vendors, infrastructure service providers and cloud companies.

    The survey provides a detailed view on how operators are thinking, and what decisions they are on the verge of making, on the timing of deploying a 5G core, to support new business models.

    The report shows key decisions which operators need to make before going cloud-native.

    The most business-critical are:

    • Whether to build a telco cloud to support the core, or rely on public or third party clouds
    • Whether the cloud platform that supports the core should also be configured and optimized for other network functions as well as enterprise applications
    • How many locations will be required to support the right balance between the efficiencies of a centralized core, and the flexibility of a distributed one

    For more information contact:

    John Constant
    Business Specialist Director
    [email protected]
    Office +44 (0)7468 460739

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29 March 2021

Fixed Wireless Access Will Combine with New Use Cases to Drive 5G Surge in High Bands

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    5G will emerge with a bang in some countries and a whimper in others, as each proceeds at different rates and directions. But almost everywhere there will be a rapid expansion of mobile communications riding a wave of new spectrum over the next five years. Despite the disparity in 5G deployments almost every region plans to allocate dedicated spectrum or has already done so, often in all three bands.

    This is reflected in the latest RAN Research forecast entitled “Fixed wireless access will combine with new uses cases to drive 5G surge in high bands“, which shows the number of cells devoted to 5G expanding in all regions, picking up quickly within a few years even in many countries where spectrum has not yet been made available.

    This latest report and forecast, part of the RAN Research service was built form a combination of interviews with technology vendors and a survey of 57 leading operators.

    It is clear that there will be rapid expansion in the newer area of private mobile networks driven by vertical sectors such as automotive and manufacturing, where operators face being squeezed out by enterprises working directly with infrastructure providers.

    Rethink predicts the 5G boom will begin in the mid band sweet spots between 1 GHz and 6 GHz but will then pick up in the higher millimeter wave (mmWave) bands where more spectrum is available but at shorter range.

    This will lead to rapid proliferation of micro infrastructure, especially small cells, because existing towers are too big and unsightly for the urban settings where mmWave will mostly be deployed, especially at first. The amount of spectrum awarded in the mmWave will dwarf that in the lower bands.

    For more information contact:

    John Constant
    Business Specialist Director
    [email protected]
    Office +44 (0)7468 460739

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9 February 2021

MNOs labor under 5G complexity, tough choices with many partners

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    For MNOS to continue in the traditional patterns of ownership and deployment of cell site infrastructure and fibre connectivity would be ruinously expensive, given the larger number of units involved in 5G, and could rarely be justified even by the new commercial opportunities 5G can enable. To be able to invest in the numbers and quality of site infrastructure that will be needed to deliver 5G’s maximum potential, mobile operators will look for new ways to share investment and management of infrastructure.

    This will lead to a significant shift in asset ownership and the flow of investment, and it will reshape many operators’ cost base, with a greater emphasis on predictable opex than upfront capex.

    The main changes will be:

    • increased sharing of infrastructure deployment and usage with other operators – including competitors, but also new entrants such as enterprise network operators
    • increased use of wholesale and neutral host providers of sites, fiber, data centers, edge cloud nodes and even active equipment – the latter particularly in the emerging small cell-as-a-service (SCaaS) segment).

    For operators, this will greatly reduce 5G capex and deployment costs, and while the balance of spending will shift to opex, the efficiencies should, at least in the medium term, reduce network opex also.

    For more information contact:

    John Constant
    Business Specialist Director
    [email protected]
    Office +44 (0)7468 460739

    Rethink Store

    If you have any questions, please contact [email protected] for more information.
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3 December 2020

Cellcos jostle at start line of $48 billion connected car market

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    Global automotive connectivity revenues will race ahead to $48.3 billion by 2027, over five times higher than 2019, generating opportunities and challenges for mobile operators and their infrastructure providers. The full added value revenue opportunity associated with automotive connectivity will be much larger still by around an order of magnitude, rising to around $500 billion by 2027.

    This revenue growth will come on the back of rapid vehicle-to-everything (V2X) deployment connecting automobiles automatically with each other as well to roadside infrastructure, pedestrians and cloud based network services via the internet. Cellular in the form of C-V2X will increasingly dominate this V2X arena as it is decisively winning the standards war over the WiFi-related technologies,  DSRC and G-ITS.

    These are primary conclusions of the latest report from RAN Research, entitled Cellcos jostle at start line of $48 billion connected car market. The report notes that the revenue opportunities will be evenly spread across the four main regions covered in the forecast, that is North America, Europe, China and the rest of Asia Pacific, each accounting for over $10 billion by 2027. This partly reflects the global nature of the automotive industry as the major OEMs seek multinational connectivity deals as part of worldwide strategies for V2X.

    For more information contact:

    John Constant
    Business Specialist Director
    [email protected]
    Office +44 (0)7468 460739

    Rethink Store

    If you have any questions, please contact [email protected] for more information.
    Prices shown include VAT for UK and EU.

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  • Download Executive Summary
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