As the market turns to 5G, new C-Band and mmWave RF front-end components are starting to ramp significant production.

According to a new report from Mobile Experts, the mmWave market for RF front-end components will grow to more than $1 billion by 2024, driven by smartphones, hotspots and fixed customer premises equipment. The report explores how 5G will drive renewed replacement of smartphones and add a few new bands and growth in complexity.

The report discusses how 4 x 4 MIMO is driving additional RF content in handsets, and how carrier aggregation requires more complex RF filter assemblies. 5G mmWave will be significant, whether in smartphones or in hotspots, tablets and CPEs. IoT growth is starting, which will become noteworthy in the long term.

”Mobile operators need to begin offloading their sub-6 GHz traffic onto mmWave bands in order to free up capacity for high speed mobile users. This means that we will see a shift in the types of devices that mobile operators will subsidize and promote to their customers.
"New tech such as thin film SAW, also known as piezo on insulator, and RF artificial intelligence (AI) will hold the most promise of substantial change in the future of the RF market. Future tuning and optimization of the RF front-end will also demand very tight co-design between modem and RFFE; this means that independent RF companies should consider partnering with major modem suppliers.” — principal analyst Joe Madden

The ban on U.S. shipments to Huawei is likely to have a significant impact on Huawei's rise in the smartphone market. A detailed evaluation of the availability of non-US RF components, ARM cores, software/operating systems and non-Android applications is included in the report.