STL Partners has published a first attempt at establishing how much the O-RAN market is worth.
For their market forecast, STL Partners define O-RAN as “virtualised, disaggregated, open-interface architectures in the radio access network (RAN). The firm excludes single vendor deployments that are O-RAN or vRAN compliant.
As mobile operators upgrade their 4G networks and invest in new 5G infrastructure, they can continue purchasing single vendor legacy RAN equipment or opt for multi-vendor open-standard O-RAN solutions.
Each telco will determine its O-RAN roadmap based on its specific circumstances (footprint, network evolution, rural coverage, regulatory pressure, etc).
STL defined four broad pathways for transitioning from legacy RAN/vRAN to O-RAN and categorised each of the top 40 mobile operators in one of the pathways, based on their announced or suspected O-RAN strategy.
Through telcos’ projected mobile CapEx and the pathway categorisation, STL Partners estimates that by 2026 annual sales of O-RAN active network elements (including equipment and software) will reach $12 billion, or 21% of all active RAN CapEx (excluding passive infrastructure).
By 2030, these will reach $43 billion and 76%, respectively.
More information here.