Dell’Oro Group predicts the CBRS RAN market will grow rapidly over the next five years, driven by demand for LTE and 5G NR CBRS solutions. It expects CBRS RAN market investments to exceed $1 billion by 2023.The forecast is part of the Dell’Oro Group CBRS RAN 5-year January Forecast Report.
The report predicts CBRS investments will account for more than a fifth of the U.S. small cell market by the outer part of the forecast period. It said that fixed wireless access will drive the lion's share of the CBRS capex over the near-term, and noted that CBRS capex is not projected to have a significant impact on the WLAN capex. The analyst firm doesn’t expect short term delays to impact long-term demand for LTE and 5G NR CBRS solutions.
“We continue to believe the CBRS band with its unique spectrum sharing characteristics include many of the right ingredients to change the status quo about how networks are built,” said Stefan Pongratz, senior director at Dell’Oro Group, in a blog post. “And recent announcement by the CBRS Alliance to support OnGo over 5G underpins projections that 5G NR deployments in the CBRS band are set to accelerate in the outer part of the forecast period.”
Earlier this week, the CBRS Alliance said it had begun work on a new release to support CBRS over 5G. As FierceWireless reported, CBRS’ Release 3 will address support for 5G deployments using shared spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band, complementing the 5G NR air interface to support 5G services.
The 5G specifications will address coexistence requirements for interoperability between LTE and 5G NR in and out of Band 48. The CBRS Alliance hopes to finish Release 3 by the fourth quarter of 2019, with OnGo 5G service availability in 2020.
The Alliance has also signed a formal agreement with the Small Cell Forum to work on a slate of initiatives related to the wide-scale adoption of small cells, network densification and the development, commercialization and adoption of OnGo-certified solutions for the 3.5 GHz band.