This report explores the commercial potential of C-RAN (Cloud or Centralized Radio Access Network), the principal emerging architecture for distributed radio access networks (RANs) used in mobile phone networks. The researcher believes that C-RANs will become essential for 5G mobile networks where they will contribute to both cost reduction and performance improvement. Not only is the conventional RAN approach expensive in terms of both Opex and Capex, there is also a problem with interference between the base stations. Mobile service providers in Asia are already reporting 30 to 50 percent Opex reductions. C-RAN deployments will also make a contribution to the essential need for power efficiency in 5G Networks.
In the report the researcher discusses how major suppliers of equipment for mobile infrastructure will position themselves for the 5G market using C-RAN as part of their strategy. It also examines what functionality the mobile service providers are looking for from future distributed RANs. Finally, the report examines the size and structure of the market that the arrival of C-RAN will have for the fiber optics, radio communications, and server businesses. As far as the IT aspects are concerned, we include a discussion of how C-RAN is repurposing conventional data center concepts to create a low cost, high reliability, low latency and high bandwidth interconnect network within the BBU pool.
Although the researcher believes that C-RAN presents a significant market opportunity going forward, we also explore the factors that holding back C-RAN and how these are likely to change in the future. One of these factors is fronthaul, which is being completely redesigned for the 5G era. This report shows how the recent great leap forward in fronthaul technology will positively impact the deployment of C-RAN architectures as latency and synchronization requirements increase. We also discuss the issues surrounding virtualization in the C-RAN architecture and what that will mean for opportunities for specialized processors and accelerators.
Also included in this report are ten-year market forecasts for C-RAN revenues and deployments and a thorough discussion of product trends – such as the move to smaller C-RANs – as represented by the announcements from leading vendors. Although, distributed RAN architectures have been around since 3G mobile, the focus of building mobile architecture was on providing broadband connectivity and distributed RANs were not a priority. With 5G, priorities have changed and C-RAN deployment has become critical. This report is designed to guide business development executives, product managers, investors and others to where the C-RAN opportunities can be found.
Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 Background to this report
1.2 Objective and scope of this report
1.3 Methodology used in this report
1.4 Plan of this report
Chapter Two: C-RAN Technology and Products
2.1 C-RAN products and C-RAN standardization
2.1.1 C-RAN and its variants: V-RANs, Hybrid RANs, small/enterprise C-RANs, etc.
2.1.2 Key architectural components (RRH, BBU, fronthaul and servers)
2.1.3 Emerging C-RAN standards
2.2 C-RAN functionality and performance
2.2.2 Baseband functional splitting
2.2.3 MEC (Mobile Edge Computing)
2.2.4 RANaaS (RAN as a Service)
2.3 The future of competition for C-RAN architectures: Macrocell base stations, small cells and Distributed Antenna Systems
2.4 C-RAN and the future of fronthaul.
2.4.1 Fiber fronthaul in C-RAN
2.4.2 Wireless fronthaul in C-RAN
2.5 Key points made in this chapter
Chapter Three: Worldwide Deployment Patterns for C-RAN: Ten-Year Forecasts
3.1 Market drivers and barriers for C-RAN
3.2 C-RAN in 5G networks
3.3 C-RAN deployment models and mobile operator use case studies
3.3.1 Early adopters
3.3.2 Pragmatic followers
3.4 Ten-year forecasts: An emerging C-RAN deployment roadmap
3.4.1 Forecasts methodology
3.4.3 Other APAC
3.4.4 North America
3.4.6 Rest of the world
3.5 Key points made in this chapter
Chapter Four: Leading C-RAN Equipment Suppliers and How they are Shaping the Market: Product and Marketing Strategies
4.1 Market shares
4.16 Telecom Infra Project
The new report, “C-RAN Deployment: Market Opportunity Analysis – 2018 and Beyond”, says that the C-RAN market is being driven both by the need to reduce OPEX and to ready mobile networks for the onslaught of 5G services starting in 2020.
The huge capital expenditure on C-RANs will bring new business opportunities not only to the optical transmission firms, but also to specialist software and chip firms. Nonetheless, C-RAN still has many obstacles to overcome and as a result CIR believes the transition will not occur as fast as some other analysts have predicted.
About the report:
This report includes an examination of what functionality the mobile service providers are looking for from distributed RANs along with a detailed analysis of the product and marketing strategies of the firms actively pursuing the C-RAN market. More than 30 firms active in this space are profiled in the report including 6WIND, Airvana, Altiostar, Altera, Amarisoft, Anritsu, Aquantia, Argela, Artiza, Artesyn, ASOCS, BLiNQ Networks, Cavium, Ceragon, Clearfield, CommAgility, Comcores, CommScope, eASIC, EBlink, Embedded Technology, Ericsson, EXFO, Fujitsu, Huawei, Intel, InterDigital, Infinera, Intracom Telecom, JMA Wireless, Keysight, Mavenir, NEC, Nokia, Phluido, Mavenir, Samsung and ZTE
Also included in this report are ten-year market forecasts for C-RAN revenues and deployments and a thorough discussion of product trends – such as the move to smaller C-RANs – as represented by the announcements from leading vendors. This forecast is broken out by RRH, BBU, fronthaul and software. There is also a separate forecast of specialist chips used in C-RAN architectures
This report is designed to guide business development executives, product managers, investors and others to where the C-RAN opportunities can be found. It was brought to you by the same team that created the best-selling report: “Optical Networking Opportunities in 5G Wireless Networks: 2017-2026.” As such the forecasts and analysis in the report is based on a realistic understanding of major carriers’ plans for C-RAN and the speed at which they are likely to be achieved.
From the report:
C-RAN was originally created by the China Mobile Research Institute and leading Korean carriers were also early adopters of C-RAN architecture. Carriers in the APAC market are expected to continue to dominate the C-RAN market over the coming decade. Asian carriers will account for 75 percent of C-RAN revenues in 2018. And By 2023, China and the APAC countries are expected to generate $9.8 Billion in C-RAN revenues.
Much of C-RAN expenditure will go to towards BBUs, revenues from which will reach $7.1 billion by 2023. C-RAN is necessary to support the numerous BBUs required for a small-cell 5G environment. Moves and changes of BBUs in a C-RAN environment are also easier because in C-RAN BBUs are virtual machines and not physical ones. But BBU infrastructure will have to be rebuilt in the context of C-RAN and this will involve considerable investment.
C-RAN deployment also requires an extensive rebuild of the fronthaul network, where latency and data rate requirements require much more fiber-- fiber also has the advantage over wireless technologies in that, once installed, ongoing costs are lower. Verizon, which is currently deploying C-RAN, has openly stated that its fronthaul and backhaul network infrastructure will be fiber based.
Mobile operators with cost-efficient fiber fronthaul are more likely to be earlier adopters of C-RAN, whereas those mobile operators that have so far only used wireless fronthaul, will be late adopters. Overall C-RAN revenues related to new front-haul facilities will reach $3.1 Billion by 2023.