Cloud-Radio Access Network (Cloud-RAN) is an advanced cellular network architecture enabling superior mobile communication. It maintains spectrum efficiency by allowing dynamic resource allocation through a central processing unit. A recent study by Hexa Research, notes that the cloud-RAN market was valued at USD 1.69 billion in 2013. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 45.8% from 2013 to 2018. It will be worth more than USD 11 billion by 2018.
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Cloud-RAN technology is a cost-effective network solution. It facilitates profitability and growth. This technology increases the capacity and speed of mobile communication. Cloud-RAN eliminates the need for digital processors, antennas, baseband units, and radio frequency equipments at cell site. It can simply support new air interface technologies like LTE - Long-Term Evolution and multi-frequency bands. These advantages are contributing to the cloud-RAN market.
Technological advancements in the telecommunications space is also acting as a key market driver. Additionally, proliferation of broadband connections coupled with boom in the usage of smartphones and tablets will have a positive market impact. The quest for affordable communication solutions that lower operational costs will also drive the demand for the cloud-RAN market.
The study reveals that the market will be hampered by huge capital investments. Also, dependency on the availability of fiber might pose a problem in the future. Hexa Research segregates the market on the basis of components, and services. The components include baseband units, servers and processors, remote radio units, test and measurement equipments, and optical transport networks.
Optical transport networks comprise ethernet, fiber, and microwave. They are anticipated to be the leading component in the forthcoming years. The cloud-RAN market services include network services, custom services, and system integration. The market can also be segmented into five regions, Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.
Asia Pacific is foreseen as the largest market in the next five years. This region will witness substantial spendings on cloud-RAN architecture in the future. The notable players in the cloud-RAN market are Aricent Technologies, Intel Corporation, VPI Systems, Alcatel-Lucent S.A., ZTE Corporation, Texas Instruments Inc., Datang Mobile, and Ericsson.