Strategy Analytics’ latest analysis on base station component demand, “Cellular Base Station RF Component Market 2008-2013,” forecasts that cellular base station shipments will grow to 13.4 million units in 2013, a compound annual average growth rate (CAAGR) of over 69 percent. However, while base station shipments will grow, the corresponding market for RF components will remain flat at $1.1 B through 2013.

The migration to 3G+ (third generation plus) and 4G (fourth generation) networks will also drive a move toward smaller form factors as operators look to reuse existing sites and infill capacity with smaller base stations. The penetration of micro base stations will increase to 29 percent through 2013, but the largest growth in shipments will come from picocell and femtocell shipments.

“Despite the volumes, we do not expect to see a major increase in component revenues, but there will be a few bright spots based around emerging technologies,” observed Asif Anwar, director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs service. “In particular, Strategy Analytics believes that GaN technology will start to fulfill earlier promises with demand for GaN power amplifiers growing at a CAAR of 76 percent through 2013.”

Other key findings from this Strategy Analytics analysis include:
• Femtocells will account for 84 percent of total base station shipments in 2013;
• Demand for standalone PA (Power Amplifier) modules for upgrading existing networks will be flat to negative as the market focuses on infrastructure rollout for emerging platforms;
• The power amplifier will account for the largest proportion of RF component revenues through 2013, but only exhibit overall growth of 2 percent.