Your browser is not supported. Please update it.

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.

  • RAN Research Subscription

    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.

    Prices shown include VAT for UK and EU.

    Purchase Subscription

    Please select a license option
29 March 2021

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

  • View Report Details

    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

    Rethink Store

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

    Purchase Report

    Please select a license option

    Purchase an annual subscription to RAN Research

    Please select a license option
  • Download Executive Summary
    Please fill your email address
9 February 2021

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

  • View Report Details

    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.
    Prices shown include VAT for UK and EU.

    Purchase Report

    Please select a license option

    Purchase an annual subscription to RAN Research

    Please select a license option
  • Download Executive Summary
    Please fill your email address
3 December 2020

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

  • View Report Details

    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.

    Purchase Report

    Please select a license option

    Purchase an annual subscription to RAN Research

    Please select a license option
  • Download Executive Summary
    Please fill your email address
19 October 2020

Open RAN adoption patterns and forecast 2020-2026

  • View Report Details

    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

    Rethink Store

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

    Purchase Report

    Please select a license option

    Purchase an annual subscription to RAN Research

    Please select a license option
  • Download Executive Summary
    Please fill your email address
21 July 2020

Small Cells Drive Microwave Backhaul Boom

  • View Report Details

    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

    Rethink Store

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

    Purchase Report

    Please select a license option

    Purchase an annual subscription to RAN Research

    Please select a license option
  • Download Executive Summary
    Please fill your email address
14 May 2020

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

  • View Report Details

    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.
    Prices shown include VAT for UK and EU.

    Purchase Report

    Please select a license option

    Purchase an annual subscription to RAN Research

    Please select a license option
  • Download Executive Summary
    Please fill your email address