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The vRAN (Virtualized Radio Access Network) Ecosystem: 2017 – 2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies & Forecasts View full size

The vRAN (Virtualized Radio Access Network) Ecosystem: 2017 – 2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies & Forecasts

The vRAN market is presently at a nascent stage with most investments focused on virtualized small cells for targeted greenfield deployments and pilot engagements for macrocell coverage.

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vRAN (Virtualized Radio Access Network) refers to a RAN (Radio Access Network) implementation where some or all baseband functions are separated from the remote radio unit and run as VNFs (Virtualized Network Functions) on commodity hardware. This approach results in multiple operational benefits including but not limited to TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) reduction, performance gains and scalability. In addition, vRAN enables mobile operators to future-proof their networks for 5G upgrades.

The vRAN market is presently at a nascent stage with most investments focused on virtualized small cells for targeted greenfield deployments and pilot engagements for macrocell coverage. However, as mobile operators realize the benefits of RAN virtualization, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 125% over the next three year period. By the end of 2020, SNS Research estimates that vRAN deployments will account for a market worth $2.6 Billion.

The “vRAN (Virtualized Radio Access Network) Ecosystem: 2017 – 2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies & Forecasts” report presents an in-depth assessment of the vRAN ecosystem including enabling technologies, key trends, market drivers, challenges, standardization, collaborative initiatives, regulatory landscape, deployment models,  operator case studies, opportunities, future roadmap, value chain, ecosystem player profiles and strategies. The report also presents forecasts for vRAN investments from 2017 till 2030. The forecasts cover multiple submarkets and 6 regions.

The report comes with an associated Excel datasheet suite covering quantitative data from all numeric forecasts presented in the report.
Topics Covered
The report covers the following topics:
 - vRAN ecosystem
 - Market drivers and barriers
 - vRAN architecture and key functional elements
 - Baseband functional splitting for vRAN implementation
 - Fronthaul networking technologies and interface options
 - Key trends including RAN slicing, RANaaS (RAN as a Service), neutral hosting and MEC (Mobile Edge Computing)
 - TCO comparison between vRAN and conventional RAN architectures
 - vRAN deployment models including Cloud RAN and virtualized small cells
 - Mobile operator case studies
 - Regulatory landscape, collaborative initiatives and standardization
 - Industry roadmap and value chain
 - Profiles and strategies of over 60 leading ecosystem players including vRAN solution providers
 - Strategic recommendations for ecosystem players including vRAN solution providers and mobile operators
 - Market analysis and forecasts from 2017 till 2030

Forecast Segmentation
Market forecasts are provided for each of the following submarkets and their subcategories:

Submarkets
 - vRAN Radio Units
 - vBBUs (Virtualized Baseband Units)

Air Interface Technology Segmentation
 - LTE & 3G
 - 5G NR (New Radio)

Deployment Model Segmentation
 - Virtualized Small Cells
 - Virtualized Macrocells

Regional Markets
 - Asia Pacific
 - Eastern Europe
 - Middle East & Africa
 - Latin & Central America
 - North America
 - Western Europe

Key Questions Answered
The report provides answers to the following key questions:
 - How big is the vRAN opportunity?
 - What trends, challenges and barriers are influencing its growth?
 - How is the ecosystem evolving by segment and region?
 - What will the market size be in 2020 and at what rate will it grow?
 - Which submarkets will see the highest percentage of growth?
 - Is centralization a pre-requisite for vRAN implementation?
 - What are the benefits and drawbacks of each baseband functional split option?
 - How can vRAN reduce the TCO of RAN deployments?
 - How can mobile operators future-proof their RAN investments for 5G upgrades?
 - Who are the key market players and what are their strategies?
 - What strategies should vRAN solution providers and mobile operators adopt to remain competitive?

Key Findings
The report has the following key findings:
 - vRAN investments are expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 125% over the next three year period. By the end of 2020, SNS Research estimates that vRAN deployments will account for a market worth $2.6 Billion.
 - At present, most vRAN investments are focused on virtualized small cells for targeted greenfield deployments and pilot engagements for macrocell coverage.
 - Mobile operators are exploring multiple baseband functional split options for vRAN implementation, as they seek to ease the transition to 5G networks while reducing fronthaul costs.
 - The ongoing 5G race is expected to significantly boost vRAN investments over the coming years. SNS Research estimates that approximately $900 Million of all vRAN investments will be directed towards 5G networks by the end of 2020.

 Table of Contents

   
1Chapter 1: Introduction12
1.1Executive Summary12
1.2Topics Covered14
1.3Forecast Segmentation15
1.4Key Questions Answered16
1.5Key Findings17
1.6Methodology18
1.7Target Audience19
1.8Companies & Organizations Mentioned20
   
2Chapter 2: An Overview of vRAN22
2.1C-RAN (Centralized Radio Access Network): Opening the Door to RAN Virtualization22
2.1.1Decoupling the Base Station22
2.1.2Brief History23
2.1.3Outlook on Future Investments23
2.2What is vRAN?24
2.2.1Leveraging Commodity Technologies25
2.2.2Moving RAN to the Cloud25
2.3Key Functional Elements of vRAN27
2.3.1Remote Radio Unit27
2.3.2vBBU (Virtualized Baseband Unit)27
2.3.2.1Baseband VNFs (Virtualized Network Functions)28
2.3.2.2RTOS (Real-Time Operating System) & Virtualization Environment29
2.3.2.3GPP (General Purpose Processor) Platform30
2.3.2.4Dedicated Programmable Hardware30
2.3.2.5External Interactions31
2.3.3Fronthaul32
2.3.3.1Technologies32
2.3.3.2Interface Options34
2.4Baseband Functional Split Approaches36
2.4.1Fully Virtualized Baseband Processing: PHY-RF Split37
2.4.2Partially Virtualized Functional Splits38
2.4.2.1Intra-PHY Split39
2.4.2.2MAC-PHY Split40
2.4.2.3Intra-MAC Split40
2.4.2.4RLC-MAC Split41
2.4.2.5Intra-RLC Split41
2.4.2.6PDCP-RLC Split41
2.4.2.7RRC-PDCP Split42
2.5Market Growth Drivers42
2.5.1Capacity & Coverage Improvement: Addressing the Mobile Data Traffic Tsunami42
2.5.2Bringing Intelligence to the Edge: MEC (Mobile Edge Computing)44
2.5.3OpEx Reduction: Reducing Energy & Maintenance Costs44
2.5.4CapEx Reduction: BBU Resource Pooling & Commodity IT Hardware45
2.5.5Agile & Flexible Network Architecture45
2.5.6Enhanced Support for Advanced RAN Coordination Features46
2.5.7Multi-Tenancy & RAN Sharing46
2.5.8Enabling Painless Migration Towards Future RAN Technologies47
2.5.9Impact of 5G Rollouts47
2.6Market Barriers47
2.6.1Fronthaul Investments48
2.6.2Virtualization Challenges48
2.6.3Vendor Proprietary Functional Splits48
2.6.4Migration from Legacy Architectures49
   
3Chapter 3: Standardization,  Regulatory & Collaborative Initiatives50
3.13GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project)50
3.1.1Functional Splits for vRAN Implementation in 5G Networks50
3.1.2Management of Virtualized Mobile Networks51
3.2Broadband Forum52
3.2.1TR-069 for PNF Management52
3.3CPRI Initiative53
3.3.1eCPRI for 5G Fronthaul Networks53
3.4ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute)54
3.4.1ORI for Fronthaul54
3.4.2NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) for vRAN54
3.4.3MEC (Mobile Edge Computing)56
3.5IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)57
3.5.1IEEE 802.1CM: TSN (Time-Sensitive Networking) for Fronthaul57
3.5.2IEEE P1904.3: Standard for RoE (Radio over Ethernet) Encapsulations and Mappings57
3.5.3IEEE 1914: NGFI (Next Generation Fronthaul Interface) Working Group58
3.5.4Other Standards & Work Groups59
3.6ITU (International Telecommunications Union)60
3.6.1Focus Group on IMT-202060
3.7MEF (Metro Ethernet Forum)61
3.7.1Ethernet Transport61
3.8NGMN (Next Generation Mobile Networks) Alliance62
3.8.1P-CRAN (Project Centralized RAN)62
3.9ONF (Open Networking Foundation) & ON.Lab (Open Networking Lab)63
3.9.1M-CORD (Mobile Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter)63
3.10OSA (OpenAirInterface Software Alliance)65
3.10.1LTE vRAN Implementation65
3.11SCF (Small Cell Forum)66
3.11.1Release 8: Small Cell Virtualization with nFAPI66
3.12TIP (Telecom Infra Project)68
3.12.1OpenCellular Access Platform68
3.13xRAN Consortium69
3.13.1xRAN Architecture69
   
4Chapter 4: vRAN Deployment Models & Case Studies70
4.1Deployment Models70
4.1.1Distributed vRAN70
4.1.2Centralized vRAN: Cloud RAN71
4.1.3Virtualized Small Cells73
4.2Mobile Operator Case Studies74
4.2.1BT Group74
4.2.2China Mobile75
4.2.3China Unicom77
4.2.4KT Corporation78
4.2.5NTT DoCoMo79
4.2.6Orange81
4.2.7SK Telecom82
4.2.8SoftBank Group84
4.2.9Telefónica Group86
4.2.10TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile)87
4.2.11Vodafone Group88
   
5Chapter 5: vRAN Industry Roadmap & Value Chain90
5.1Industry Roadmap90
5.1.12017 – 2020: Growing Adoption of Virtualized Small Cells90
5.1.22020 – 2025: The Cloud RAN Era - Moving vRAN to the Data Center91
5.1.32025 – 2030: Continued Investments with 5G Network Rollouts91
5.2Value Chain92
5.2.1Enabling Technology Providers92
5.2.2Radio Equipment Suppliers93
5.2.3vBBU Vendors93
5.2.4Fronthaul Networking Vendors93
5.2.5Mobile Operators94
5.2.6Test, Measurement & Performance Specialists94
   
6Chapter 6: Key Market Players95
6.16WIND95
6.2ADLINK Technology96
6.3Advantech97
6.4Airspan Networks98
6.5Altiostar Networks99
6.6Amarisoft100
6.7Argela101
6.8Aricent102
6.9ARM Holdings103
6.10Artemis Networks104
6.11Artesyn Embedded Technologies105
6.12ASOCS106
6.13ASTRI (Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute)107
6.14Broadcom108
6.15Casa Systems109
6.16Cavium110
6.17Cisco Systems112
6.18Clavister113
6.19Cobham Wireless114
6.20Comcores115
6.21CommAgility116
6.22CommScope117
6.23Contela118
6.24Dali Wireless119
6.25Dell Technologies120
6.26eASIC Corporation121
6.27Ericsson122
6.28Facebook123
6.29Fujitsu124
6.30Hitachi125
6.31HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise)126
6.32Huawei127
6.33IBM Corporation128
6.34IDT (Integrated Device Technology)129
6.35Intel Corporation130
6.36ip.access131
6.37IS-Wireless132
6.38JMA Wireless133
6.39Kathrein-Werke KG134
6.40Mellanox Technologies135
6.41Microsemi Corporation136
6.42Mobiveil137
6.43MTI Mobile138
6.44NEC Corporation139
6.45Nokia140
6.46NXP Semiconductors141
6.47Octasic142
6.48Parallel Wireless143
6.49Phluido144
6.50Qualcomm145
6.51Quortus146
6.52Radisys Corporation147
6.53Red Hat148
6.54Samsung Electronics149
6.55SOLiD (SOLiD Technologies)150
6.56SpiderCloud Wireless151
6.57Sumitomo Electric Industries152
6.58Sunnada (Fujian Sunnada Communication Company)153
6.59Sunwave Communications154
6.60TI (Texas Instruments)155
6.61Xilinx156
6.62Xura157
6.63ZTE158
   
7Chapter 7: Market Analysis & Forecasts159
7.1Global Outlook on vRAN Investments159
7.2Segmentation by Deployment Model160
7.2.1Virtualized Small Cells160
7.2.2Virtualized Macrocells161
7.3Segmentation by Air Interface Technology161
7.3.1LTE & 3G162
7.3.25G NR (New Radio)162
7.4Segmentation by Submarket163
7.4.1vRAN Radio Units163
7.4.1.1Virtualized Small Cell Radio Units165
7.4.1.2Virtualized Macrocell Radio Units166
7.4.2vBBUs (Virtualized Baseband Units)167
7.4.2.1Virtualized Small Cell BBUs169
7.4.2.2Virtualized Macrocell BBUs170
7.5Segmentation by Region172
7.5.1vRAN Radio Units172
7.5.2vBBUs173
7.6Asia Pacific175
7.6.1vRAN Radio Units175
7.6.2vBBUs176
7.7Eastern Europe178
7.7.1vRAN Radio Units178
7.7.2vBBUs179
7.8Middle East & Africa181
7.8.1vRAN Radio Units181
7.8.2vBBUs182
7.9Latin & Central America184
7.9.1vRAN Radio Units184
7.9.2vBBUs185
7.10North America187
7.10.1vRAN Radio Units187
7.10.2vBBUs188
7.11Western Europe190
7.11.1vRAN Radio Units190
7.11.2vBBUs191
   
8Chapter 8: Expert Opinion – Interview Transcripts193
8.1Ericsson193
8.2Nokia Networks196
8.3ASOCS201
8.4SpiderCloud Wireless204
8.5Parallel Wireless206
   
9Chapter 9: Conclusion & Strategic Recommendations210
9.1Why is the Market Poised to Grow?210
9.2Competitive Industry Landscape: Acquisitions, Alliances & Consolidation210
9.3Is Centralization a Pre-Requisite for vRAN Implementation?211
9.4Setting the Foundation for 5G NR (New Radio) Upgrades211
9.5What is the Cost Saving Potential of vRAN?212
9.6Integration with MEC (Mobile Edge Computing)213
9.7Moving Towards a Cloud Operating Model213
9.8Prospects of Neutral Hosting with vRAN214
9.9Enabling RAN Slicing215
9.10Unlicensed Spectrum: Impact on Virtualized Small Cell Design217
9.11Geographic Outlook: Which Countries Offer the Highest Growth Potential?218
9.12Strategic Recommendations219
9.12.1vRAN Solution Providers219
9.12.2Mobile Operators220
   
List of Figures  
 Figure 1: C-RAN Architecture23
 Figure 2: vRAN Architecture25
 Figure 3: Key Remote Radio Unit & vBBU Functions29
 Figure 4: VM vs. Container Virtualization31
 Figure 5: CPRI Protocol Layers34
 Figure 6: Baseband Functional Split Options for vRAN37
 Figure 7: Examples of Maximum Required Bitrate on a Fronthaul Link for Possible PHY-RF Split38
 Figure 8: Performance Comparison of Baseband Functional Split Options for vRAN40
 Figure 9: Annual Global Throughput of Mobile Network Data Traffic by Region: 2017 – 2030 (Exabytes)44
 Figure 10: ETSI NFV Architecture56
 Figure 11: M-CORD Focus Areas65
 Figure 12: nFAPI Interfaces67
 Figure 13: Distributed vRAN Deployment Model72
 Figure 14: Cloud RAN Deployment Model73
 Figure 15: Virtualized Small Cell Deployment Model74
 Figure 16: China Mobile’s Cloud RAN Vision77
 Figure 17: NTT DoCoMo’s Advanced C-RAN Architecture80
 Figure 18: SK Telecom's SDRAN (Software Defined RAN) Architecture84
 Figure 19: SoftBank's Virtualized Small Cell Trial86
 Figure 20: vRAN Industry Roadmap91
 Figure 21: vRAN Value Chain93
 Figure 22: Global vRAN Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)160
 Figure 23: Global vRAN Revenue by Deployment Model: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)161
 Figure 24: Global Virtualized Small Cell RAN Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)161
 Figure 25: Global Virtualized Macrocell RAN Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)162
 Figure 26: Global vRAN Revenue by Air Interface Technology: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)162
 Figure 27: Global Virtualized LTE & 3G RAN Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)163
 Figure 28: Global Virtualized 5G NR RAN Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)163
 Figure 29: Global vRAN Revenue by Submarket: 2016 - 2030 ($ Million)164
 Figure 30: Global vRAN Radio Unit Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Thousands of Units)164
 Figure 31: Global vRAN Radio Unit Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)165
 Figure 32: Global vRAN Radio Unit Shipments by Deployment Model: 2017 – 2030 (Units)165
 Figure 33: Global vRAN Radio Unit Shipment Revenue by Deployment Model: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)166
 Figure 34: Global Virtualized Small Cell Radio Unit Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Units)166
 Figure 35: Global Virtualized Small Cell Radio Unit Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)167
 Figure 36: Global Virtualized Macrocell Radio Unit Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Units)167
 Figure 37: Global Virtualized Macrocell Radio Unit Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)168
 Figure 38: Global vBBU Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Units)168
 Figure 39: Global vBBU Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)169
 Figure 40: Global vBBU Shipments by Deployment Model: 2017 – 2030 (Units)169
 Figure 41: Global vBBU Shipment Revenue by Deployment Model: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)170
 Figure 42: Global Virtualized Small Cell BBU Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Units)170
 Figure 43: Global Virtualized Small Cell BBU Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)171
 Figure 44: Global Virtualized Macrocell BBU Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Units)171
 Figure 45: Global Virtualized Macrocell BBU Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)172
 Figure 46: vRAN Revenue by Region: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)173
 Figure 47: vRAN Radio Unit Shipments by Region: 2017 – 2030 (Thousands of Units)173
 Figure 48: vRAN Radio Unit Shipment Revenue by Region: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)174
 Figure 49: vBBU Shipments by Region: 2017 – 2030 (Units)174
 Figure 50: vBBU Shipment Revenue by Region: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)175
 Figure 51: Asia Pacific vRAN Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)176
 Figure 52: Asia Pacific vRAN Radio Unit Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Thousands of Units)176
 Figure 53: Asia Pacific vRAN Radio Unit Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)177
 Figure 54: Asia Pacific vBBU Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Units)177
 Figure 55: Asia Pacific vBBU Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)178
 Figure 56: Eastern Europe vRAN Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)179
 Figure 57: Eastern Europe vRAN Radio Unit Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Thousands of Units)179
 Figure 58: Eastern Europe vRAN Radio Unit Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)180
 Figure 59: Eastern Europe vBBU Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Units)180
 Figure 60: Eastern Europe vBBU Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)181
 Figure 61: Middle East & Africa vRAN Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)182
 Figure 62: Middle East & Africa vRAN Radio Unit Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Thousands of Units)182
 Figure 63: Middle East & Africa vRAN Radio Unit Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)183
 Figure 64: Middle East & Africa vBBU Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Units)183
 Figure 65: Middle East & Africa vBBU Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)184
 Figure 66: Latin & Central America vRAN Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)185
 Figure 67: Latin & Central America vRAN Radio Unit Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Thousands of Units)185
 Figure 68: Latin & Central America vRAN Radio Unit Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)186
 Figure 69: Latin & Central America vBBU Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Units)186
 Figure 70: Latin & Central America vBBU Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)187
 Figure 71: North America vRAN Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)188
 Figure 72: North America vRAN Radio Unit Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Thousands of Units)188
 Figure 73: North America vRAN Radio Unit Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)189
 Figure 74: North America vBBU Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Units)189
 Figure 75: North America vBBU Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)190
 Figure 76: Western Europe vRAN Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)191
 Figure 77: Western Europe vRAN Radio Unit Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Thousands of Units)191
 Figure 78: Western Europe vRAN Radio Unit Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)192
 Figure 79: Western Europe vBBU Shipments: 2017 – 2030 (Units)192
 Figure 80: Western Europe vBBU Shipment Revenue: 2017 – 2030 ($ Million)193
 Figure 81: Centralization & Virtualization of RAN Functions197
 Figure 82: Centralized vs. Distributed Cloud RAN Architecture200
 Figure 83: Nokia's Cloud Based Radio Architecture201
 Figure 84: TCO Comparison Between vRAN and Conventional RAN Architecture ($ per GB)213
 Figure 85: Conceptual Architecture for Network Slicing in Mobile Networks216
 Figure 86: nFAPI support for LAA’s LBT Functionality218


  • Pages: 220
  • Edition: Q1'2017
  • Published Date: 09-January-2017
  • Geography Coverd: Global
  • Publisher: SNS Research