The C-RAN (Centralized Radio Access Network) Ecosystem: 2017 – 2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies & Forecasts

Release Date: July 2017
Number of Pages: 430
Number of Tables and Figures: 115

Synopsis: Centralized RAN or C-RAN is an architectural shift in RAN (Radio Access Network) design, where the bulk of baseband processing is centralized and aggregated for a large number of distributed radio nodes. In comparison to standalone clusters of base stations, C-RAN provides significant performance and economic benefits such as baseband pooling, enhanced coordination between cells, virtualization, network extensibility, smaller deployment footprint and reduced power consumption.

Initially popularized by Japanese and South Korean mobile operators, C-RAN technology is beginning to gain momentum worldwide with major tier 1 operators –  including Verizon Communications, AT&T, Sprint, China Mobile, Vodafone, TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile), Orange and Telefónica –  seeking to leverage the benefits of centralized baseband processing.

SNS Research estimates that global investments in C-RAN architecture networks will reach nearly $9 Billion by the end of 2017. The market is further expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 24% between 2017 and 2020. These investments will include spending on RRHs (Remote Radio Heads), BBUs (Baseband Units) and fronthaul transport network equipment.

The “C-RAN (Centralized Radio Access Network) Ecosystem: 2017 – 2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies & Forecasts” report presents an in-depth assessment of the C-RAN ecosystem including enabling technologies, key trends, market drivers, challenges, standardization, regulatory landscape, deployment models, operator case studies, opportunities, future roadmap, value chain, ecosystem player profiles and strategies. The report also presents forecasts for C-RAN infrastructure investments from 2017 till 2030. The forecasts cover 3 individual submarkets and 6 regions.

The report comes with an associated Excel datasheet suite covering quantitative data from all numeric forecasts presented in the report.


For a sample of the report or any further inquiries please contact info@snstelecom.com

Pricing: The report is available for the following price: 

Single User License: USD 2,500

Company Wide License: USD 3,500


Key Findings:
The report has the following key findings:
  • Expected to reach nearly $9 Billion in global spending by the end of 2017,         C-RAN is increasingly becoming the preferred approach to deploy future mobile networks. The market is further expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 24% between 2017 and 2020.
  • Small cells are also beginning to be deployed in a C-RAN architecture to leverage the benefits of resource pooling and multi-cell coordination. This trend is particularly prevalent in the indoor and enterprise segments, with a number of dedicated vendor solutions such as CommScope's OneCell, SpiderCloud's E-RAN, Ericsson's Radio Dot, and Huawei's LampSite.
  • Mobile operators are exploring multiple baseband functional split options for C-RAN implementation, as they seek to ease the transition to 5G networks while reducing fronthaul costs.
  • By the end of 2020, SNS Research estimates that vRAN/Cloud RAN deployments with virtualized baseband processing will account for nearly 20% of all C-RAN investments.
  • The vendor arena is continuing to consolidate with several prominent M&A deals such as Mavenir Systems' recent merger with C-RAN specialist Ranzure Networks, which has positioned the company as an end-to-end provider of 5G-ready mobile network solutions.

Topics Covered:
The report covers the following topics:
  • C-RAN ecosystem
  • Market drivers and barriers
  • Key architectural components (RRH, BBU and fronthaul)
  • Competing RAN architectures including traditional macrocell base stations, standalone small cells and DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems)
  • Key trends including baseband functional splitting, enterprise RAN, vRAN (Virtualized RAN)/Cloud RAN, MEC (Mobile Edge Computing) and RANaaS (RAN-as-a-Service)
  • Fronthaul networking technologies and interface options
  • C-RAN deployment models and mobile operator case studies
  • Regulatory landscape and standardization
  • Industry roadmap and value chain
  • Profiles and strategies of over 230 leading ecosystem players including enabling technology providers, radio equipment suppliers, BBU vendors, fronthaul network equipment vendors and mobile operators
  • Strategic recommendations for ecosystem players including C-RAN solution providers and mobile operators
  • Market analysis and forecasts from 2017 till 2030

Forecast Segmentation:
Market forecasts are provided for each of the following submarkets and their subcategories:
  • Submarket Segmentation
    • RRHs (Remote Radio Heads)
    • BBUs (Baseband Units)
    • Fronthaul
  • Air Interface Technology Segmentation
    • 3G & LTE
    • 5G NR (New Radio)
  • Network Architecture Segmentation
    • Non-Virtualized C-RAN
    • vRAN/Cloud RAN
  • Deployment Model Segmentation
    • Indoor
    • Outdoor
  • Cell Size Segmentation
    • Small Cells
    • Macrocells
  • Fronthaul Transport Network Technology Segmentation
    • Dedicated Fiber
    • WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing)
    • OTN (Optical Transport Network)
    • PON (Passive Optical Network)
    • Ethernet
    • Microwave
    • Millimeter Wave
    • G.Fast & Others
  • Regional Markets
    • Asia Pacific
    • Eastern Europe
    • Middle East & Africa
    • Latin & Central America
    • North America
    • Western Europe

Key Questions Answered:
The report provides answers to the following key questions:
  • How big is the C-RAN opportunity?
  • What trends, challenges and barriers are influencing its growth?
  • How is the ecosystem evolving by segment and region?
  • What will the market size be in 2020 and at what rate will it grow?
  • Which submarkets will see the highest percentage of growth?
  • How can C-RAN facilitate the management of interference and LTE-Advanced features such as CoMP (Coordinated Multi-Point)?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of each baseband functional split option?
  • How can C-RAN reduce the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of RAN deployments?
  • What are the prospects of wireless fronthaul technologies?
  • Is Ethernet a feasible solution for fronthaul networking?
  • How big is the market for vRAN/Cloud RAN networks?
  • How can mobile operators future-proof their RAN investments for 5G upgrades?
  • Who are the key market players and what are their strategies?
  • What strategies should C-RAN solution providers and mobile operators adopt to remain competitive?

List of Companies Mentioned:
The following companies and organizations have been reviewed, discussed or mentioned in the report:

3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project)
3Roam
6WIND
Accelink Technologies Corporation
Accelleran
Actelis Networks
ADLINK Technology
ADTRAN
ADVA Optical Networking
Advantech
Airspan Networks
Alpha Networks
Alphabet
Altiostar Networks
Amarisoft
América Móvil Group
Anritsu Corporation
APRESIA Systems
Aquantia Corporation
Argela
ARIB (Association of Radio Industries and Businesses, Japan)
Aricent
ARM Holdings
ARRIS International
Artemis Networks
Artesyn Embedded Technologies
Artiza Networks
ASOCS
ASTRI (Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute)
AT&T
ATIS (Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, United States)
Aviat Networks
Axxcelera Broadband Wireless
Azcom Technology
Baicells Technologies
Benetel
Blu Wireless Technology
BluWan
Boomsense/Bangxun Technology
BridgeWave Communications
Broadband Forum
Broadcom
BT Group
CableFree (Wireless Excellence)
Cadence Design Systems
Calix
Cambium Networks
Casa Systems
Cavium
CBNL (Cambridge Broadband Networks Ltd.)
CCI (Communication Components, Inc.)
CCS (Cambridge Communication Systems)
CCSA (China Communications Standards Association)
cellXica
Ceragon Networks
CEVA
China Mobile
China Telecom
China Unicom
Ciena Corporation
Cisco Systems
Clavister
Cobham Wireless
Coherent Logix
Collision Communications
Comcores
CommAgility
CommScope
Contela
Corecess
Coriant
Corning
Dali Wireless
DASAN Zhone Solutions
Datang Mobile
Dell Technologies
DragonWave
eASIC Corporation
E-Band Communications
EBlink
ECI Telecom
EE
Ekinops
ELVA-1
Eoptolink Technology
Ericsson
Ethernity Networks
ETRI (Electronics & Telecommunications Research Institute, South Korea)
ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute)
Exalt Wireless
EXFO
ExteNet Systems
Extreme Networks
Facebook
Fairwaves
Faraday Technology Corporation
FastBack Networks
FiberHome Technologies
FibroLan
Finisar Corporation
Flex Logix Technologies
Foxconn Interconnect Technology
Fraunhofer FOKUS  (Institute for Open Communication Systems)
Fraunhofer HHI (Heinrich Hertz Institute)
Frog Cellsat
Fujian Sunnada Network Technology
Fujitsu
Furukawa Electric Group
GigaLight
GlobalFoundaries
Google
HCL Technologies
HFR
Hisense
Hitachi
HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise)
Huahuan
Huawei
HUBER+SUHNER
HXI
IBM Corporation
IDT (Integrated Device Technology)
IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)
Imec International
InCoax
Infineon Technologies
Infinera
InfiNet Wireless
InnoLight Technology
InnoWireless
Intel Corporation
InterDigital
Intracom Telecom
IP Light
ip.access
IPITEK
Iskratel
IS-Wireless
ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute, Taiwan)
ITU (International Telecommunications Union)
JMA Wireless
JRC (Japan Radio Company)
Juni Global
Kathrein-Werke KG
KDDI Corporation
KEYMILE
Keysight Technologies
Kisan Telecom
KMW
KPN
KT Corporation
Lattice Semiconductor
LG Uplus
LightPointe Communications
Lindsay Broadband
Loea Corporation
Lumentum
Luminate Wireless
MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings
Maja Systems
Maven Wireless
Mavenir Systems
MAX4G
MaxLinear
MEF (Metro Ethernet Forum)
MegaFon
Mellanox Technologies
Microsemi Corporation
Microwave Networks
MIMOtech
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Mobiveil
Molex
Moseley Associates
MRV Communications
MTI (Microelectronics Technology, Inc.)
N.A.T.
Nash Technologies
NEC Corporation
Netonomics
NETSCOUT Systems
New Postcom Equipment
Nexcomm Systems
NexxCom Wireless
NGMN (Next Generation Mobile Networks) Alliance
Node-H
Nokia
Nokia Networks
Nokia Technologies
NTT DoCoMo
NuRAN Wireless
Nutaq Innovation
NXP Semiconductors
Octasic
OE Solutions
Omnitron Systems
ON.Lab (Open Networking Lab)
OneAccess Networks
ONF (Open Networking Foundation)
Orange
OSA (OpenAirInterface Software Alliance)
Parallel Wireless
Peraso Technologies
Phluido
PMN (Private Mobile Networks)
Polewall
Potevio
Proxim Wireless Corporation
Qualcomm
Qucell
Qwilt
RACOM
RAD Data Communications
Radisys Corporation
RADWIN
Raisecom
Range Networks
Red Hat
Redline Communications
REMEC Broadband Wireless Networks
Saguna Networks
SAI Technology
Samji Electronics
Samsung Electronics
Sarokal Test Systems
SCF (Small Cell Forum)
SerComm Corporation
SIAE Microelectronica
Siklu Communication
Sistelbanda
SITRONICS
SK Telecom
SK Telesys
SkyFiber
SoftBank Group
Solectek Corporation
SOLiD
Sooktha
Source Photonics
Spectronite
SpiderCloud Wireless
Sprint Corporation
SRS (Software Radio Systems)
Star Solutions
Sumitomo Electric Industries
Sunwave Solutions
Tarana Wireless
Tata Elxsi
TEKTELIC Communications
Telco Systems
Telecom Italia Group
Telefónica Group
Telenor Group
Tellabs
Tellion
Telrad Networks
Telus Corporation
TI (Texas Instruments)
TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile)
Trango Systems
Transition Networks
TSDSI (Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India)
TTA (Telecommunications Technology Association, South Korea)
TTC (Telecommunication Technology Committee, Japan)
Ubiquoss
UTStarcom
Vanu
Verizon Communications
Viavi Solutions
VMware
Vodafone Group
Vubiq Networks
Wave1
WiPro
Xelic
Xilinx
xRAN Consortium
Zain Group
ZTE
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