The fifth generation of mobile networks and the investments it's expected to generate in the near future will finally revive the global mobile radio access network market by 2021, Dell'Oro Group's analysts said earlier this week as part of the firm's latest mobile RAN report for the following half a decade. The prediction is significant because it marks the first positive forecast for the industry given by Dell'Oro in almost seven years, with the firm's main metric of choice being five-year compound annual growth rate. The mobile RAN market is expected to experience "healthy growth" starting in 2021, with that trend being projected to translate into the following year, according to the company. While the forecast doesn't encompass the post-2022 period, it's implied that 5G investments will continue benefitting the market so long as the deployment of the next generation of wireless networks is underway on an international level.
The report indirectly implies that true large-scale deployment of 5G infrastructure won't begin in the next two years, though select carriers in the United States, South Korea, and Japan are all looking to pursue it much sooner. Verizon and AT&T both pledged to offer some form of consumer-ready 5G connectivity by the end of 2018, with recent estimates expecting nationwide availability of such networks by 2020. A number of Far Eastern countries may be even quicker to offer such technologies on a national level, with the majority of Europe being expected to be at least a couple of years behind in the deployment efforts, as suggested by the current state of 5G research and development on the Old Continent.
China is also expected to be a major growth driver over the forecast period as its 5G deployment efforts are accelerating, with the industry as a whole being on the verge of allowing for what many tout as the next wireless revolution meant to lead to the creation of entirely new groups of products and services. Macro BTS shipments are also projected to dwarf those of LTE macro BTS units five years from now, whereas small cells are expected to account for close to a fifth of the mobile RAN market by the same point.