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
1 December 2022

5G Network Slicing Forecast to 2029

  • View Report Details

    5G Network Slicing Forecast to 2029

    The forecast shows there are growing opportunities in enterprises, within private networks, and with operators, within public macro networks.  Growth is also shown via the consumer side through the provision of services dedicated to use cases such as UHD video delivery, conferencing and mobile gaming.

    Early growth will be concentrated in the enterprise, led by six key sectors that will propel revenues associated with slicing almost from a standing start to $16bn by 2029.

    Network slicing is a work in progress in three primary stages from a technological and functional standpoint. These Rethink defines as static, targeted and dynamic slices, which are three categories forecast separately for traffic levels and revenue in this report.

    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
8 November 2022

Automation of the RAN: The Operators Playbook to vRAN and Open RAN

  • View Report Details

    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.

    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
11 August 2022

Private Networks Driving Opportunities in 5G and WiFi

  • View Report Details

    Private Network deployments are now surging and will continue to accelerate at a higher rate than public 5G deployments. And by 2028 Private 5G Networks sales and services will generate almost $24 Billion in revenue, while WiFi (5,6E) will see a surge to $2.5 billion by 2025.

    Rethink through surveys, and in-depth interviews has discussed deployments of Private Networks with 85 network operators, and 110 enterprises, who are looking to deploy private 5G networks.

    This RAN Research forecast gives a global snapshot of Private Networks and lays out the potential deployments and revenue, with regional and industry vertical breakdowns.

    Operators, and new service providers compete to deploy private networks and generate new revenue streams, while enterprises, citing control and security look to bypass them and deploy their own networks.  At the same time existing technology providers face off with new providers, who are joining the fray on the back of Open RAN.

    The analysis dives into the coexistence and collaboration debate, looks at the impact of Open RAN, the potential for HetNets, spectrum and its use cases, existing technologies, and innovations that will drive Private Network opportunities, whilst analysing the drivers and barriers to deployment.

    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
28 June 2022

Small cells and edge – a key 5G business opportunity

  • View Report Details

    There is a logical convergence of infrastructure build-out between edge cloud and telecoms connectivity, and there is a particular alignment with 5G, which combines high bandwidth with full mobility, as well as an inherently low-latency air interface that enhances the effect of edge compute on response times.

    Given the distributed nature of the edge, especially to serve enterprises with on-premise or near-premise infrastructure, the obvious correlation, in terms of build-out and investment, is with small cells and, increasingly, with private networks. That raises a series of opportunities and key decisions for all kinds of operators – not just established telcos and mobile network operators (MNOs), but the emerging breed of enterprise-focused private network operators (PNOs) and neutral hosts. All these categories were represented in the survey of 5G deployers that Rethink Technology Research conducted in the second quarter of 2022, eliciting response from one or more senior executives within 85 different companies.

    In the latest report from Caroline Gabriel, Rethink’s Co-Founder and Research Director entitled ‘Small cells and Edge: a key 5G business opportunity’, there was a clear distinction between operators’ attitudes to edge cloud ownership if they planned to use it primarily to support their own network functions, to support enterprise applications, or to support consumer services for their established user bases

    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
12 April 2022

Fixed Wireless Access Rises to Reduce Broadband Deficits

  • View Report Details

    Fixed wireless access (FWA) has emerged as a major use case for 5G in many markets, after years of being offered as a broadband connectivity option chiefly in remote areas that are largely unserved by a wired alternative such as telco DSL, cable TV or fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP). But now the technological advances of 5G are helping to remove the shackles from the Fixed Wireless Access business model in a wider range of scenarios than before.

    Fixed Wireless Access subscriber numbers are already accelerating dramatically in key developed markets, such as the USA, largely as a result of 5G. However, numbers are also increasing even with 4G support only, driven by rising demand for broadband and improvements to the Fixed Wireless Access deployment models. 4G is enabling expansion of broadband coverage, even at a lower level of performance than 5G, in various developing countries, such as South Africa, the Philippines and Indonesia.

    These two trends combined will propel global Fixed Wireless Access subscriptions at a faster rate than had been widely anticipated until recently, from 64m in 2021 to 218.8m in 2028.

    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
7 February 2022

Open RAN faces significant challenges in the Macro RAN

  • View Report Details

    Adoption of full Open RAN architectures, and of new suppliers or multivendor networks, will be accelerated or delayed (even until the 6G era, potentially) depending on how effectively the emerging ecosystem addresses key challenges of performance, cost and complexity of integration, solution immaturity and cloud migration.

    Among these challenges, as our forecast details, an affordable, power-efficient distributed unit that can match the performance of a special-purpose solution; and the full optimization of Open RAN for Massive MIMO antenna arrays, are the most pressing technical challenges. We go as far as to say that addressing these two challenges, at a time when operators are accelerating adoption of Massive MIMO and seeking to support very advanced 5G use cases, will decide the level of success of Open RAN in the macro network before 2027.

    Beyond the technology, many overlapping decisions need to be made about supplier relationships, public or private cloud platforms, 5G use case priorities, and whether the 5G SA/core migration needs to go hand-in-hand with vRAN adoption. All of this will take time and require operators to conduct complex balancing of risk and reward. The opportunity for Open RAN architectures and vendors is huge, and could reshape the mobile industry, and 2022-2023 will be the crucial period in which we see how far it will fulfil that potential.

    Rethink’s forecast is built on many data points and inputs, but most importantly on a survey of 72 mobile and converged operators, including new entrants, conducted in the fourth quarter of 2021. All respondents are deploying, trialling or evaluating macro network vRAN and/or Open RAN, a community that, at this point in time, represents almost 65% of tier one and two operators (though a smaller percentage when tier three and four operators are considered). This report focuses on vRAN, Open RAN and Massive MIMO in the outdoor macro and micro base station market

    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