With the radio access network (RAN) optimization solutions estimated to have closed out 2015 at more than US$4 billion in total revenue, ABI Research, the leader in transformative technology innovation market intelligence, anticipates that this market will grow to reach $6.3 billion in 2020. This will be due, in part, to the wide adoption of the technology in developing markets, notably Latin America.
“Out of the six solutions addressed, we expect automatic cell planning to grow the fastest, increasing by more than 18% year-on-year by 2020,” says Lian Jye Su, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “Traditional optimization solutions, such as RF and KPI optimization and performance management, will start to decline in 2017 and be replaced by more automated solutions, such as automatic cell planning and self-organizing network.”
While Ericsson focuses on developing in-house expertise for RAN optimization, Nokia Networks opts for acquisition. Both companies’ recent strategic partnerships—Nokia Networks’ merger with Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson’s partnership with Cisco—solidified their standing as top competitors in the RAN optimization market.
“Given the current trends and growth trajectories, we believe that there will be even more consolidations in the near future,” continues Su. “While Huawei and ZTE will continue to grow, smaller vendors will either continue to merge with companies that offer full suites of services or gain ground as niche players before being bought out by top tier vendors.”
Additionally, though ABI Research predicts significant network optimization market revenue to derive from developed regions, the firm forecasts the growth of new RAN optimization solutions in developing markets to grow at a faster rate. North America will experience the largest growth within the forecast period but Latin America and Asia will follow closely behind. Moving forward into 2016, however, there are several industry challenges that will need to continue to be addressed by MNOs in all regions.
“The introduction of small cells, picocells and femtocells, as well as distribution antenna system and C-RAN, leaves MNOs with an increasingly dynamic and complex heterogeneous network,” concludes Su. “As MNOs can ill afford to maintain a highly complex network without a large pool of engineers, this is an opportunity for smart, automatic network optimization solutions to help mobile operators reduce CAPEX and OPEX.”
These findings are part of ABI Research’s Service Optimization and Monetization Service, which includes research reports, market data, insights and competitive assessments.
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