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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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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

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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

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19 October 2020

Open RAN adoption patterns and forecast 2020-2026

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    Open RAN will account for 58% of total RAN capex spending at $32.3 bn and be deployed at 65% of all sites by 2026 despite overhype and uncertainty over which standards will prevail. Open RAN deployments will occur rapidly across all sectors but will accelerate fastest in small cell environments, especially greenfield roll-outs, rather than in macro and micro RANs.

    These are key findings of the latest report from RAN Research, the wireless analytics arm of Rethink Technology Research, entitled Open RAN adoption patterns and forecast 2020-2026. The report highlights the key role alternative and enterprise deployers will play in driving open RAN in many markets, including specialized divisions within MNOs and telcos. In 2020-2023, only 17% of established MNOs will deploy an open RAN for any purpose, while 39% of alternative and greenfield deployers will adopt it fully in this early phase. Enterprise small cell networks will be a particularly strong driver and proving ground for open RAN.

    The forecasts and commentary are derived from RAN Research’s expert analysis of feedback from a detailed survey of 107 service providers, including 78 MNOs and 29 of those alternative cellular network deployers. This revealed key drivers, which would, if fully proven, accelerate their deployment of open RAN by at least one year, led by need for simplicity of deployment, followed by access to innovation and multivendor interoperability. Reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO) was only in fourth place.

    For more information contact:

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

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21 July 2020

Small Cells Drive Microwave Backhaul Boom

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    Small Cells 2019 – 2026

    Backhaul will be even more critical for MNO competitiveness and ability to meet rising customer expectations in the 5G era than it has been under 4G.

    The rapid expansion in spectrum and support for much greater diversity in use cases will strain backhaul capacity and demand extra layers of complexity to deliver on performance and flexibility. This will drive growth in capacity of backhaul links and changes in architecture as radio functions are separated from baseband signal processing to enable both to scale independently and be supplied by different vendors.

    The drive for higher bit rates and capacity will accelerate growth of small cells that cut the distance between radio units and User Equipment (UE) and that will be the main driver of backhaul links over the next six years.

    This is reflected in the latest RAN Research forecast entitled “small cells drive microwave backhaul boom”, and analysis of global backhaul trends until 2026 covering a major period of transition from 4G to 5G in most regions. The number of small cell backhaul links is forecast to grow almost nine times between 2019 and 2026 from 1.4 million to 12.27 million.

    Companies mentioned in this report:

    ADVA, ADTRAN,  Actelis Networks, Airspan, AT&T, Broadway Partners, Cambium Networks, Cambridge Communication Systems, Ceragon, Cisco, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, DragonWave, ECI Telecom, Ericsson, Facebook, Fastback Networks, Huawei, Juniper, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Ontix, RADWIN, Telecom Infra Project, Telefonica, Verizon, Vodafone, ZTE.

    For more information contact:

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

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14 May 2020

Private networks and shared spectrum: making the 5G enterprise a reality

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    Private Networks will propel Small Cells to 26 million by 2026

    Enterprise networks, increasingly deployed by private operators, will provide small cells with the sweet spot they have been seeking for so long, and drive the market to 26 million units by 2026.

    The cells will be increasingly diverse in form, ranging from compact versions of macro base stations to almost invisible systems embedded in electronic equipment. But the huge majority – 68% of all small cells that will be deployed between 2019 and 2026 – will be for enterprise and industrial use cases.

    These conclusions have been reached by the latest report from Rethink Technology’s RAN Research practice, entitled Private networks and shared spectrum: making the 5G enterprise a reality – Small Cells and Private Networks 2019-2026.  A key growth driver will be the rise of private networks to support industrial and engineering use cases, increasingly enabled by emerging shared spectrum in mid-band and millimeter wave bands.

    This document contains explanatory notes and commentary to accompany the Excel spreadsheet ‘Rethink RAN Service Small Cells and Private Networks 2019-2026. That contains further data breakdowns including regional patterns. The surveys and forecasts on which the outputs are based were conducted in January to March 2020.

    There were 94 responses from operators (66 traditional mobile network operators and 28 private, enterprise or neutral host operators, plus a partner study of 72 large to medium corporations in North America, Europe, China, India and south-east Asia.

    Companies mentioned in this report:

    Airspan, AT&T, CBRS, Crown Castle, DenseAir, Deutsche Telekom, FCC, Federated Wireless, LoRa, Ofcom, O-RAN Alliance, Sigfox, Small Cell Forum, Sprint, Telecom Infra Project, T-Mobile, Verizon, Zinwave

    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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17 March 2020

Is it right to be a Tortoise or Hare in 5G migration?

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    Migration strategies for 5G RAN and core 2019-2026

    The array of deployment options for 5G is bewildering, and an operator’s timing to adopt new technologies will have a profound effect on its commercial outcome.

    The most critical timing decision is when to migrate from 5G Non-Standalone mode (deployed in every live network to date, and using the LTE core) to fully-fledged 5G Standalone with a cloud-native core.

    Is it better to be a Tortoise or a Hare when it comes to diving into these key 5G choices? Should an MNO install the most advanced features as soon as they become available, or wait until platforms are more stable and mature? What is the optimal timing to adopt the 5G core, and to move to full cloud operation?

    Rethink Technology Research has surveyed 86 service providers about their deployment strategies, covering a combination of converged telcos; mobile-first operators; and alternative deployers with greenfield mobile businesses and no legacy networks to migrate. In each case they have discussed their plans and priorities, and their key business drivers.

    The resulting forecast is part of Rethink’s RAN Research service and is entitled, “Is it right to be a Tortoise or Hare in 5G migration? Migration strategies for 5G RAN and core 2019-2026” and is out this week.

    Companies mentioned in this report:

    Accelleran, Affirmed, Altiostar, Amazon, AT&T, AWS, BT, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Dish, Etisalat, HPE, Huawei, Mavenir, Microsoft Azure, NEC, Nokia, NTT Docomo, Open RAN Alliance, Orange, Parallel Wireless, Rakuten Mobile, Robin.io, Samsung, SingTel, SK Telecom, Small Cell Forum, Spidercloud, Telecom Infra Project, Telefonica, Telstra, T-Mobile USA, Turkcell, Vodafone, YouTube, ZTE

    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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