Wireless Network Infrastructure Market - An Analysis of Forecasts, Market Size and Trends

Published Date : Jul 21, 2014

A wireless network, as the name indicates, is a computer network that utilizes wireless data connections to transmit information between network nodes. By eliminating costly, and often complex cable installations and equipment, wireless networking has brought about a transformation in the telecommunications industry. This is the prime difference between a ‘wired’ network and a ‘wireless’ network. The former uses cables to establish connections. 

Wireless networks generally function with the help of radio communication. We use wireless networks in our day-to-day life. Some examples of wireless networks are cellular, terrestrial microwave, and Wi-Fi networks. 

Wireless Network Infrastructure has been traditionally associated with mobile core network and radio access network (RAN) infrastructure. Analytics firm SNS Research estimates that by the end of 2014, this market will be worth USD 52 billion in spending.

Rise of the HetNet Market

However, the scope of the term ‘wireless network’ has expanded in the recent past to include Heterogeneous Network or HetNet. This infrastructure encompasses the RAN Cloud concept, Wi-Fi, distributed antenna systems (DAS), small cells, and so on. HetNet has proven be an enticing proposition to businesses as it comes with advantages such as capacity addition without heavy investments in broader spectrum. Driven by this promise, the HetNet infrastructure is estimated to account for spends to the tune of USD 17 billion by 2014. Within the HetNet market, the main categories are: cloud RAN equipment, carrier WiFi, and distributed antenna systems (DAS). Both startups and established market players are showing an immense interest in the HetNet market, which will see substantial investments till 2020, if not further.

Decline of the RAN Market

However, it is estimated that enterprises may spend less on RAN in the years to come. This will lead the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of this segment to witness a decline to touch 3% till 2020. Despite this, the overall wireless network infrastructure industry [http://www.marketresearchreports.biz/analysis/173316] is on the brink of experiencing unprecedented growth. This includes HetNet, backhaul infrastructure,  macrocell RAN, and mobile core. It will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of about 5%, with the overall market being worth USD 104 billion by 2020.

Big trends in the wireless network infrastructure sector

A key area of growth complementing wireless networks will be the 5G mobile network. Substantial funds are being pumped into investments and research pertaining to 5G networks by vendors, mobile carriers, and market players from allied verticals. The results of this will soon be visible as each player tries to outdo the other as far as features such as connectivity, speed, and capacity are concerned. Market experts estimate that by 2020, research and development investments of up to USD 1 billion would have been made in 5G mobile technology. This figure denotes the combined investments by vertical market players, wireless carriers, as well as vendors. Capacity and speed addition are regarded as the greatest competition-beating tools in this industry, and it thus comes as no surprise that players will take big risks in this domain.

In summary

The size of the wireless network infrastructure market will continue to grow over the next few years. This market is currently undergoing a transitional phase in response to the growing demand for mobile traffic. A re-balancing of market share will likely happen as the economic order of the world undergoes a change. This will open new avenues for growth and restructuring for wireless network infrastructure vendors as well. Forecasts for the wireless network infrastructure market estimate that some conventional markets will shrink and eventually be relegated to the wayside, whereas new and emerging markets will witness heavy investments. Consumer demand and technological development are the two driving factors for any market – this is especially true in the case of the wireless network infrastructure market.

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