News | February 9, 2018

The Flying 5G Trapeze: When Should You Jump?

5G Radio Transceiver shipments to surge from 1 million in 2018 to 16 million in 2020

Campbell, CA /PRNewswire/ -- The 5G wave will crash suddenly, and many of the market players are getting ready to dive in. The first release of 5G NR standards is complete, the 5GTF trials are finished with at least 200 sites deployed in preparation for commercial launch, and the timescale is moving up. But what will the 5G deployment profile look like? How many sites will actually use Massive MIMO? How many radios will be shipped in each band?

This week, Mobile Experts released a brand-new report that provides a 5-year forecast for macro base stations ranging from 2G through 5G. The forecast includes base stations, RRH units, and related radio transceivers above 30W composite power per sector. The forecast is broken down by band, power level, region, MIMO configuration, traffic density, level of BBU integration, and OEM market share. New to this year's edition: we've added our view of capacity in Gbps shipped for each air interface.

According to the report, 2018 remains a transition year where revenue in the macro base station market is still weak and 5G deployment is in its infancy. But the 5G explosion is coming in China, Korea, Japan, and the United States. Mobile Experts has analyzed key technical and cost benchmarks with operators to illustrate precisely where significant 5G investment is justified.

"On a large scale, we can see clearly that mobile infrastructure has reached a turning point," commented Chief Analyst Joe Madden. "It's no longer possible to predict base station shipments just by adding up CAPEX predictions from operators. Instead, we use two predictive tools to zero in on future infrastructure investments. First, we track the traffic density in leading LTE networks to understand the limits of LTE. This predicts the technical side of when Massive MIMO and 5G features are needed. Secondly, we work closely with key operators to understand the ROI for 5G investments. Our cost analysis provides the CFO's view of when 5G investment should happen."

Based on technical trends recorded and analyzed by the Mobile Experts team, the 5-year outlook for radio transceivers includes a rise in overall capacity. Despite small numbers of base stations, the mm-wave deployment of just a few operators can be significant in terms of actual resulting traffic.

"There are a two technical trends that are incredibly important to watch. These include massive MIMO, as it is now in-field and working for TD-LTE networks, and numbers associated with 5G NR deployment. We've established a network of component suppliers that share shipment data with us, so that we can track these trends closely. That's how we provide our customers with ongoing support and information as the market develops," commented Chief Analyst Joe Madden.

Subscribers to Mobile Experts research will receive the full report, a detailed Excel forecast sheet, quarterly updates, and the popular Expert INSIGHT strategic analysis series.

To find out more about this report, click here. To find out how to subscribe, click here.

About Mobile Experts Inc.:
Mobile Experts provides insightful market analysis for the mobile infrastructure and mobile handset markets. Our analysts are true Experts, who remain focused on topics where each analyst has 20 years of experience or more. Research topics center on technology introduction for radio frequency (RF) and communications innovation. Recent publications focus on Macro Base Stations, Cellular IoT, GkM, Backhaul, CBRS, LPWA, Big Picture IoT, DAS, CRAN/VRAN, Small Cells, Enterprise Mobile Infrastructure, Backhaul and Fronthaul, 5G, and more.

SOURCE: Mobile Experts

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