June 25, 2020

LightCounting releases its vRAN and open RAN Market Size, Share, and Forecast Report.

Since the launch of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), a Facebook initiative, the open virtual radio access network (RAN) market has gathered a great momentum that is shaking the traditional RAN establishment controlled by Ericsson, Fujitsu, Huawei, NEC, Nokia, Samsung and ZTE.

This momentum is also creating a lot of confusion. First, the virtualization of RAN functions, which consists of disaggregating hardware from software to run the functions on software only, started a decade ago; that is what virtual RAN (vRAN) is. Second, a non-virtualized traditional RAN can become an open RAN if at least the 3GPP-defined interfaces between the radio units (RUs) and the baseband unit (BBU) are open, allowing interoperability between various RU and BBU suppliers. Finally, decomposing the BBU into a distributed unit (DU) that connects the RU and a central unit (CU) that is connected to the core network through a management system has become the de facto new 4G and 5G architectures paving the way for major initiatives aimed at specifying various open interfaces, including the RAN intelligent controller (RIC) between the CU and the network management system. TIP and the ORAN Alliance, created in 2018, are accelerating the development of open interfaces, which in turn leads to commercial large-scale deployments such as Rakuten Mobile in Japan and Internet para Todos in Latin America. These developments have led to the formation of a vast open vRAN ecosystem.

Consequently, Shown in Figure E-1, LightCounting’s vRAN and open RAN market forecast we expect the open vRAN market to grow 240% over 2019 growth this year, and our long-term forecast points to total sales of more than $1.5B with the market growing at a 2020-2025 CAGR of 67%, taking a small cut at the traditional RAN market, and potentially replacing indoor distributed antenna systems (DAS) in the long run.

Figure E-1: Global sales of open vRAN 2016-2025


This report takes a deep dive into the virtualization of radio access networks (vRAN) and analyzes the various schools of thoughts ranging from basic virtualization of RAN functions to new open architectures such as OpenRAN, Facebook’s TIP initiative and the ORAN Alliance, designed to cut the dependency on proprietary RAN equipment supplied by the traditional vendors. The vRAN segment is taken from our existing RAN size and forecasts and broken down by 2G/3G4G versus 5G as well as vCU/vDU, RU for each region, and also looks at the potential for indoor DAS replacement. The report covers a wide emerging ecosystem of dozens of vendors.

More information on the report is available at:


Recently Published Reports: