According to a recently published report from Dell’Oro Group, preliminary findings reveal that the Radio Access Network (RAN) market is still struggling after the peak in 2022. The results in the first quarter were exceptionally weak, underpinned by poor results across most suppliers. Preliminary findings suggest that the overall 2G-5G RAN market—including baseband plus radio hardware and software, excluding services—declined 15 to 30 percent in 1Q24, resulting in a third consecutive quarter of double-digit contractions.

“It's difficult to find a silver lining in the first quarter,” said Stefan Pongratz, vice president and analyst at the Dell'Oro Group. “We've been monitoring the RAN market since the year 2000, and the contraction experienced in the first quarter marked the steepest decline in our entire history of covering this market. In addition to the known coverage related challenges that the market is dealing with when comps in the advanced 5G markets are becoming more challenging, there are now serious concerns about the timing of the capacity upgrades given current network utilization levels and data traffic growth rates,” continued Pongratz.

Additional highlights from the 1Q 2024 RAN report:

  • Middle East and Africa are growing, Latin America is stable, and the remaining regions, including North America, Europe and Asia Pacific declined sharply in 1Q 2024
  • Vendor rankings remain stable while vendor shares are shifting. In the first quarter, Huawei’s 4QT (four quarter trailing) revenue share improved relative to 2023 while Nokia lost some ground over the same period
  • The top 5 RAN suppliers based on worldwide revenues are Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, ZTE and Samsung
  • Growth projections have been revised slightly downward over the short term. Global RAN is now projected to decline 5 to 8 percent in 2024.