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Global RAN market unaffected by coronavirus

While the rest of the world came grinding to a halt in the first half of this year due to the pandemic, the radio access market grew at its fastest pace in a decade.

This is the conclusion of the Dell’Oro Group, which specializes in tracking the telecoms market. Its latest report, which you only get a taster of unless you pay for it, says the RAN market is accelerating at a much faster pace than initially expected and at the fastest pace in nearly ten years.

“Initial findings suggest that we correctly assumed that the importance of connectivity in combination with the on-going 5G rollouts by the early adopters would be enough to offset weaker developments in the less advanced MBB markets resulting in a RAN market that appears disconnected from the underlying economy,” said Stefan Pongratz of Dell’Oro. “At the same time, it is increasingly clear that we underestimated the magnitude of the 5G acceleration in some of the advanced MBB markets.”

Pongratz seems to be referring to the Chinese market, which has been on a tear this year despite everything. While the exact market shares weren’t revealed, Dell’Oro did reveal that both Huawei and ZTE gained global revenue share, which must surely be down to China. Indeed, the world’s largest telecoms market is stated as the main driver for a 5-6x increase in 5G NR radio shipments during 1H 2020 and mm wave 5G NR deployment revenues increasing fourfold.

As a result of all this Dell’Oro has adjusted its forecast for the rest of the year upwards, in anticipation of continued Chinese 5G mania. It’s not clear how much of this spending spree was underwritten by the Chinese state, but you still have to wonder when the rest of the world will get the memo.

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