Distributed Antenna Systems (DASs) have become a vital component for in-building cellular coverage, especially in the U.S. and Asian markets. However, many legacy DASs are facing challenges incorporating 5G and increasing the overall capacity of the systems. To overcome these challenges, many Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are starting to transition from traditional in-building DASs to “5G-Ready” digital Distributed Radio Systems (DRS) due to technical and financial aspects and a smooth transition to 5G. According to a new report published by global tech market advisory firm, ABI Research, worldwide revenue for DASs will grow approx. 2.7 times, from US$5,072.9 million in 2019 to US$13.7 billion by 2025. Similarly, the consumer and enterprise small cells will generate a revenue growth of 2.6 times from US$975 million in 2029 to US$2.6 billion by 2025.
“With the advent of 5G indoors, flexible solutions with advanced features and capabilities like DRS have gained greater participation in the market. These solutions change the way traditional DASs are designed and implemented due to their simplified and future-proofed architecture,” said Johanna Alvarado, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “The market opportunity for DRSs will grow in the following years, during which the solution is going to be adopted to address 5G upgrades for legacy DASs, as an overlaid 5G systems, but also as the main indoor wireless solution for all venue sizes. DRSs will be largely adopted to address various wireless applications in the consumer and enterprise markets.”
MNOs have started to deploy 5G indoors targeting high-density venues such as stadiums and music venues. For example, Deutsche Telekom in Germany deployed 5G in Munich's Allianz Arena. Similarly, Verizon and AT&T in the United States are adding 5G to sports venues (mainly NFL and AT&T stadiums). Many of these upgrades involve new DAS infrastructure covering the 5G frequency range.
“There are mainly two strategies adopted by MNOs to deploy 5G in venues with existing legacy DASs. These strategies are mainly spectrum re-farming and overlaid 5G systems. These techniques will be largely adopted by MNOs to boost 5G coverage in venues of all sizes where there are existing legacy DASs. DRSs will mainly be the overlaid architecture chosen by MNOs, because DRSs effectively deploy more advanced features without significant cost,” adds Alvarado.
In addition, in order to cope with the pace of the technology changes in the mobile telecommunication industry, 42% of the interviewed vendors have merged/acquired new companies in a span of seven years. For example, CommScope acquired Airvana, TE Connectivity, and Ruckus in the last five years, Corning acquired SpiderCloud in 2017, and Cobham acquired Axell Wireless in 2013. “It is clear that the DAS market is consolidating with vendors diversifying its product portfolios, and entering new markets by acquiring new companies,” concludes Alvarado.
These findings are from ABI Research’s From DAS to DRS in the 5G era application analysis report. This report is part of the company’s 5G and Mobile Network Infrastructure research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights. Based on extensive primary interviews, Application Analysis reports present in-depth analysis on key market trends and factors for a specific technology.
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