BRISTOL, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UK analyst group Rethink Technology Research has a new report entitled ‘Cloud-RAN Deployments and Key Trends 2014-2021’
This report will tell readers When and where MNOs will spend on C-RAN?
It is based on interviews and questionnaires with major MNOs discussing future buying plans, shows that the big step up year for C-RAN deployment will be 2018. This report will name the operators who will lead those investments.
Early virtualization spending will revolve around the base station hotel concept, in which remote radio heads are controlled by a centralized base station nearby, and linked by fiber.
By 2021 the entire world will be installing Cloud-RAN. APAC will account for 46% of deployments, Europe for 22% and North America just 18%.
There are existing Cloud-RAN trials at Telefonica, Telecom Italia, SK Telecom and all three Chinese giants. Rethink believes the catalyst for virtualizing all layers of the network will really come with 5G, mainly after 2020.
US pioneers in virtualization, such as AT&T, will be initially focused on the core and transport, rather than the RAN. Later in the decade, the emergence of standards and cost benefits will attract other APAC operators, including some in India, to adopt virtualized small cells as a cost effective route to densification.
By 2021 Rethink expects 2.2m centralized or virtualized small cells to be rolled out, 43% of the small cell total; while there will be 503,000 new virtualized macrocells deployed, 34% of the total. Between 2014 and 2021, the compound annual growth rates will be 123% for small cells and 38% for macrocells.
The key MNO barriers to deploy C-RAN relate to access to affordable fiber, which was a top three concern for 19% of the base, followed by uncertainty about the cost model and by the fact that many companies have only recently invested large sums in a conventional architecture for LTE.
In terms of drivers, 18% said the ability to use and allocate network and cloud resources more flexibly was a top three reason to consider C-RAN, while the second most-cited driver was reduction in operating costs (16%), followed by overall performance/capacity improvements enabled by a flexible, efficient architecture with higher levels of usage (13%).
About Rethink Technology Research
Rethink is a thought leader in OTT video delivery, Internet of Things and emerging wireless technologies. It offers consulting, advisory services, research papers, forecasts, plus weekly research services; "Wireless Watch" is a major influence among wireless operators and equipment makers and the associated service, RAN Research.