Sales from Open RAN will accumulate sales of up to US$5 billion in the next five years, market research firm Dell’Oro said.
Virtual RAN that applies commercial off-the-shelf server on the distributed unit (DU) and central unit will account for between US$3 billion to US$5 billion, the firm said. Over a million telecom equipment related to Open RAN will be shipped during the period.
The US government is pushing for Open RAN. Expansion of Open RAN will likely help US component, equipment and software companies as the country has no major telecom equipment company.
Major telecom equipment companies including Huawei of China, Ericsson of Sweden, Nokia of Finland, Samsung Electronics of South Korea and ZTE of China.
US carriers have mostly used Ericsson and Nokia goods for their networks.
Previously, these telecom equipment companies would secure their own supply of software and hardware. They would then be the exclusive vendor the network equipment to carriers.
Open RAN allows for separate software to be used on general-purpose server equipment. Carriers can add telecom equipment from small- to mid-sized firms to the equipment provided by the major telecom equipment vendors.
US Department of State is planning to hold an online forum on Open RAN on September 14. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to make the opening remarks and Japanese carrier Rakuten Mobile will be showcased as an example of Open RAN.
The Japanese carrier had said it will make the world’s first end to end cloud native wireless network. It is forming its Open RAN with components and software from Intel, Qualcomm, Altiostar and Cisco. Nokia was also taking part.
In July, Samsung Network launched a virtualized DU for 5G base stations. The company said it has applied a fully virtualized RAN and said testing will continue in North America throughout the second half of 2020.
In May, the US government formed the Open RAN Policy Coalition __ it was likely formed to counter the influence of Huawei. Samsung Electronics and Nokia are part of the coalition. Ericsson, meanwhile, has said Open RAN cannot be an alternative to high performance 5G wireless network as of yet.