Mobile operators to invest over $30 bn in open radio access networks

The Open RAN-compliant radio market to date has been dominated by Asian vendors Samsung, NEC and Fujitsu…reports Asian Lite News

Mobile operators are likely to invest more than $30 billion in open RAN networks globally by 2030, representing a CAGR of 24 per cent for the period, according to a latest report.

Open RAN stands for open radio access network. An open RAN is made possible by a set of industry-wide standards that telecom suppliers can follow when producing related equipment.

Open RAN network investments have increased steadily in recent years, driven primarily by greenfield network operators in the Asia-Pacific and North American regions, according to Counterpoint Research.

However, following this period of rapid network build-outs, greenfield operators are looking to lower capex in 2023 and 2024 and focus on network monetization.

Some Tier-1 operators, notably Vodafone, have announced major plans recently to deploy open RAN, but most brownfield network operators remain very cautious about additional investments in 5G infrastructure, particularly Open RAN, due to the uncertain macroeconomic climate.

As a result, the Open RAN market will stagnate during this and the next year.

“Investments will start to increase YoY after 2025 with network operators investing a cumulative total of more than $30 billion between 2022 and 2030,” the report noted.

Although the Asia-Pacific and North American regions will remain the largest Open RAN markets for most of the forecast period, Europe is expected to record the fastest growth with a CAGR of 108 per cent between 2023 and 2030 as its Tier-1s finally start commercial deployments at scale, driven partly by the need to replace legacy Chinese 3G and 4G networks.

The Open RAN-compliant radio market to date has been dominated by Asian vendors Samsung, NEC and Fujitsu.

However, Counterpoint Research expects that their market share will be impacted during the forecast period as other incumbents start offering Open RAN-compliant solutions.


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