CBRS 5G RAN forecast approaches $1B by 2025

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LTE is expected to drive most of the CBRS RAN investments in the near term. (Pixabay)

The overall Citizens Broadband Radio Services (CBRS) market sentiment remains healthy, with cumulative 2020-2025 CBRS 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) investments expected to approach $500 million to $1 billion, according to the Dell’Oro Group.

"Again, we have made some near-term downward adjustments to the CBRS forecast, to reflect slower than expected year-to-date LTE CBRS base station adoption," said Stefan Pongratz, VP and analyst at the Dell’Oro Group, in a statement. "At the same time, activity is on the rise with interesting use cases forming around multiple verticals, adding confidence enterprise and private deployments will comprise a greater share of the overall CBRS market over time.”

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A few years ago, Dell’Oro was predicting demand for LTE and 5G CBRS solutions would push the CBRS RAN market to exceed $1 billon by 2023. However, as Pongratz said, LTE CBRS base station adoption this year was slower than expected.

Still, LTE is projected to drive the lion’s share of investments over the near term, with 5G New Radio (NR)-based CBRS capex dominating by 2025.

According to Dell’Oro, the size of the CBRS RAN market in the outer years remains fairly unchanged, with CBRS RAN revenues accounting for 5% of the North American RAN market by 2025. The overall RAN market includes CBRS, millimeter wave and other sub-6 GHz deployments.

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Fixed wireless access (FWA), which is generating a lot of attention lately with deployments by major carriers like T-Mobile and Verizon, and capacity augmentation for mobile broadband applications are initially dominating the CBRS RAN capex mix. The enterprise share is expected to improve in the later part of the forecast period, according to the market research firm.