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5G RAN growth to slow over five-year period

5G network skyline.jpeg

5G-RAN growth will slow over the next five years as the market makes a transition from the expansion phase to the “next phase” according to research from Dell’Oro Group.

"It is still early days in the 5G journey but at the same time, the coverage and capacity phases that have shaped the capex cycles with previous technology generations still hold," said Stefan Pongratz vice president and analyst with the Dell'Oro Group.

"Still, even with the expected changes in capital intensities as the operators reach their initial 5G coverage targets, the plethora of 5G frequencies taken together with the upside from FWA and eventually private 5G, will curb the peak-to-trough decline relative to 2G-4G.”

The Mobile RAN 5-year January 2023 Forecast Report also indicated that less advanced MBB regions are expected grow while RAN investments in both China and North America are expected to decline at mid-single digit CAGRs over the forecast period.

5G RAN is expected to grow another 25% to 30% by 2027, though this will barely be enough to offset steep declines in LTE.

The report added that mmWave projections have been revised downward over the near term and upward in the outer part of the forecast to reflect the potential upside with higher EIRP solutions.

Additionally, small cell RAN revenue growth has been outpacing macros for some time now and these trends are expected to extend throughout the forecast period, with small cell RAN revenues growing more than 20% by 2027.