Published: November 2019 | Report Code: IM11773 | Available Format: PDF | Pages: 185
The cloud and centralized radio access network (C-RAN) market revenue stood at $936.3 million in 2018, and it is expected to reach $2,159.2 million by 2024, at a CAGR of 15.9% during 2019–2024. The major growth drivers for the market include the soaring emphasis on automation, rising penetration of the 5G technology, surging digitalization rate, increasing smartphone adoption, and burgeoning demand for internet of things (IoT) solutions and services.
The Asia-Pacific (APAC) market for C-RAN solutions is expected to showcase the fastest growth in the future. This can be owed to the presence of a vast consumer base, booming investments in the 5G technology, and escalating number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). These factors have led to the wide adoption of cloud-based technologies and expansion of the telecommunications industry in the region.
The growing adoption of the C-RAN technology by telecom companies has become a prominent market trend due to the spurring demand for long-term evolution (LTE) services. The conventional RAN technology is only ideal for small offices because its deployment in large areas, such as event spaces, malls, amusement parks, and stadiums, affects the user experience owing to the increased network density. Owing to these limitations, solutions offered by C-RAN market players are being adopted in large public areas. This software-based architecture facilitates reduced inter-cell interference, a higher storage capacity, and enhanced user experience.
The increasing penetration of the 5G technology is one of the primary factors supporting the market growth. Telecom operators are shifting toward new technologies to scale up their network capabilities. Service providers across the world are focusing on the transformation of RAN to meet the booming demand for 5G solutions and services from businesses. In 2018, telecom companies invested over $140 billion to expand and upgrade their existing network. Further, the number of 5G subscribers stood at 1.6 billion in 2018, and it is estimated to surpass 1.9 billion by 2019 end.
Organizations across the globe are increasingly adopting cloud computing for new and legacy systems. Moreover, the adoption of C-RAN solutions reduces the cost burden on enterprises as it does not require hardware installation and maintenance. Additionally, these solutions enable individuals to work from different devices and locations on a single platform, which further streamlines business processes.
The outdoor category, within the deployment segment, accounted for the larger share in the C-RAN market in 2018. Outdoor deployment offers better coverage in high-density network areas, such as parking lots, stadiums, and malls.
In 2018, the infrastructure category generated the highest revenue within the component segment of the C-RAN industry. This was primarily on account of the soaring investments by mobile operators in the 5G, 4G, and LTE technologies. The services category is expected to register the fastest growth in the foreseeable future. The rising adoption of software-based C-RAN solutions has resulted in a vast demand for related professional services.
The targeted outdoor urban areas category, under the application segment, will exhibit the fastest growth in the market for C-RAN in the coming years. This category covers commercial and residential spaces, which create a high demand for C-RAN to transform the network to 5G & LTE.
The centralized category, within the architecture segment, held the larger share in 2018 owing to the high preference for software- and hardware-integrated solutions. Moreover, a lot of business organizations are still not aware of virtualized RAN solutions.
North America solutions generated the highest revenue in 2018 in the C-RAN market to the high penetration of the 5G technology in the region. In recent years, telecom companies in North America have introduced several services for both wireless mobile and fixed-line networks. This can be credited to the hefty investments in research and development (R&D) for the deployment of the C-RAN technology. Additionally, the region is predicted to witness a CAGR of 16.8% during 2019–2024.
Furthermore, APAC is expected to demonstrate the fastest growth between 2019 and 2024. This can be attributed to the burgeoning demand for the 5G and virtualization technologies for improved network coverage and consumer experience. In addition, the amplifying number of smartphone users and rising data consumption will boost the deployment of C-RAN in the region. LTE has been the most-popular technology in China for many years; however, the nation is now focusing on the adoption of the 5G technology.
The C-RAN market is consolidated in nature and characterized by the presence of several key players, including Verizon Communications Inc., Ericsson Inc., Fujitsu Limited, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Cisco Systems Inc., Nokia Corporation, ZTE Corporation, NEC Corporation, Intel Corporation, and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
In recent years, major players in the global C-RAN market have taken several strategic measures to gain a competitive edge. For instance, in May 2019, SoftBank Corp. announced its partnership with Nokia Corporation to launch its 5G offering through the Nokia AirScale solution. Nokia’s 5G RAN would be deployed in Japan to provide 5G services to consumers and businesses. The offering would facilitate enhanced mobile broadband, machine-type communication, and low-latency communication services.
Besides, in February 2019, Ericsson Inc. joined the O-RAN Alliance, which is a group of several telecom service providers and suppliers. As a member, Ericsson would focus on open interworking between RAN, automation, and network orchestration. The company would also focus on upper-layer function to provide interoperable multivendor profiles for interfaces between centralized RAN functions, which would further accelerate 5G deployment, globally.
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