As per a report by Counterpoint Research, telecom operators across the globe are expected to invest over $30 billion in open radio access network (RAN) by 2030.

The report states that investments have increased steadily in recent years, driven primarily by greenfield network operators in the Asia-Pacific and North American regions, says Counterpoint Research. However, following this period of rapid network build-outs, greenfield operators are looking to lower capital expenditure (capex) in 2023 and 2024 and focus on network monetisation. Some Tier-1 operators, notably Vodafone, have announced major plans recently to deploy open RAN, but most brownfield network operators remain very cautious about additional investments in 5G infrastructure, particularly open RAN, due to the uncertain macroeconomic climate, it added.

According to the report, the open RAN market will stagnate during 2023 and 2024. Investments will start to increase year-over year (YoY) after 2025 with network operators investing a cumulative total of more than $30 billion between 2022 and 2030. This represents a compound annual growh rate (CAGR) of 24 per cent for the forecast period of 2023-2030.

The report states that although the Asia-Pacific and North American regions will remain the largest Open RAN markets for most of the forecast period, Europe is expected to record the fastest growth with a CAGR of 108 per cent between 2023 and 2030 as its Tier-1s finally start commercial deployments at scale, driven partly by the need to replace legacy Chinese 3G and 4G networks.

The Open RAN-compliant radio market to date has been dominated by Asian vendors Samsung, NEC and Fujitsu. However, the report predicts that their market share will be impacted during the forecast period as other incumbents start offering Open RAN-compliant solutions.