LightCounting releases its Open and Virtual Radio Access Network Report Update
Japan, which became the world’s first open RAN and open vRAN nation in 2021 continues to prove the skeptics are wrong and push the detractors to retrenchment: NTT docomo and KDDI are in the Brownfield driver’s seat while Rakuten Mobile leads the Greenfield league, which in turn, sent Fujitsu and NEC to the leadership board. This would have never been possible without the combination of the launch of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) in 2016, the launch of the O-RAN Alliance in 2018, and the relentless U.S.-led 2018-2020 effort to convince dozens of nations including its allies to ban Chinese vendors from their 5G rollouts. As a result, the world has changed in a dramatic fashion:
“We maintain our view that the effect of the Stigler principle is already in the making and the weakest players of the expansive open RAN ecosystem will either disappear or be acquired while others will revise their cost structure. Nonetheless, the open RAN market is unstoppable, looking up, and poised to rule the world and ruin the RAN establishment. Patience is needed as we expect the global switch to open vRAN to occur in the 2024-2025 timeframe, driven by large Tier 1 CSPs around the world because at this point, everyone is on board.” said Stéphane Téral, Chief Analyst at LightCounting Market Research.
Consequently, the open vRAN market came in 17% below our forecast in 2022 and is set for a short-term (2023-2024) pause sustained by the usual suspects. Our 2023 forecast was revised downward but still shows growth. The good news is that there is a growing consensus all over the world that open vRAN will become a major architecture component of mobile networks in the second half of this decade. As a result, our 2022-2028 CAGR is 33% and open vRAN will account for more than 20% of total global RAN sales by 2028.
Finally, we believe open RAN is a serious contender for indoor use cases in general and open vRAN as a DAS replacement in particular because it offers the same benefits as DAS has been known for, but with greater flexibility and cost efficiencies. Open vRAN penetration in the indoor DAS segment will also lead to the enterprise private wireless network space that is currently dominated by traditional RAN implementations.
About the report:
Open vRAN report takes a deep dive into the virtualization and disaggregation of radio access networks and analyzes the various schools of thoughts ranging from basic virtualization of RAN functions (vRAN) to new open architectures such as open RAN, following the TIP initiative and the O-RAN Alliance specifications, designed to cut the dependency on proprietary RAN equipment supplied by the traditional vendors. The vRAN segment is taken from our existing RAN size and forecasts and broken down by 2G/3G/4G versus 5G, as well as by vCU/vDU and RU for each region, and also looks at the potential for indoor DAS replacement. The report covers a wide emerging ecosystem of vendors.