According to a recently published report by Dell’Oro Group, the Open RAN movement has come a long way in just a few years, propelling Open RAN revenues to accelerate at a faster pace than initially expected. These trends continued in 2022 and with this latest report, Open RAN expectations have been revised upward to reflect the higher baseline, supported by stronger-than-expected O-RAN progress in North America. Open RAN is now projected to account for 15 percent to 20 percent of global RAN by 2027.

“The message that we have communicated for some time now with the early adopters embracing the movement and the early majority operator still concerned about performance and cost parity with Open RAN relative to proprietary RAN has not changed,” said Stefan Pongratz, vice president and analyst at the Dell’Oro Group. “Even with the higher starting point, it is more salient than even to factor in the vastly different adoption curves across the greenfields, the leading brownfields in North America and Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world,” continued Pongratz. 

Additional highlights from the January 2023 Open RAN Advanced Research Report:

  • The Asia Pacific and North America regions are projected to be the primary growth vehicles throughout the forecast period
  • Since the last forecast, Open RAN projections have been revised upward in the North America region and downward in Middle East & Africa, Caribbean and Latin America and parts of the Asia Pacific
  • Even with the slower start, European Open RAN revenues are expected to top $1 B by 2027
  • While the Open RAN movement is not confined to a specific technology, RF output power, spectrum band or deployment configuration. Open RAN macros are expected to drive the lion’s share of the O-RAN capex, accounting for around 90 percent of the revenues throughout the forecast period
  • Risks remain broadly balanced. On the one hand, the Open RAN movement continues to trend in the right direction. At the same time, preliminary data suggest Open RAN is having a minimal impact on the overall RAN supplier dynamics.