Mobile data consumption and next generation wireless network deployment are fueling increases in the number of base station cells and power amplifiers shipped each year. The recently released Strategy Analytics RF and Wireless Components (RFWC) Service report, “Radio Access Network RF Power Device Trends & Forecast: 2011 - 2015,” forecasts that revenue from RF power amplifier devices will grow to almost $1 B in 2015.

This Strategy Analytics report also forecasts that MIMO, heterogeneous networks, smaller cells, active antennas, higher-efficiency remote radio heads that support multiple air interfaces and new RF power amplifier (PA) architectures will contribute to rapid growth in the number of power amplifiers and RF power transistors shipping per year. Strategy Analytics analysis estimates that operators will deploy more than 9 million new base station sectors in 2015, with more than 35,000 PAs shipping.

“Developments, such as multi-air interface MCPAs with higher instantaneous bandwidth, remote radio heads and smaller cells, are changing the definition of the base station,” noted Christopher Taylor, Director of the Strategy Analytics RF and Wireless Components Service. “These factors, as well as the evolution of radio access network equipment to support increasing mobile data consumption, are driving strong growth in RF power devices.”

Eric Higham, Director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductors Technologies Service, added, “LDMOS will remain the dominant RF power amplifier transistor technology, but we expect GaAs content to increase as operators continue to implement new architectures and smaller cells. GaN use will also increase, with higher frequencies and higher efficiency remote radio heads.”

The report highlights developments in the base station market and segments new base station sectors by power level and frequency. Also included are total revenue estimates for LNAs, driver and power amplifier finals by process technology.