As expected, the LTE (News - Alert) (long term evolution) RAN (radio access network) market has continued its growth throughout the year, according to a newly published report by the Dell’ (News - Alert)Oro Group. In particular, the report states that the third quarter of 2013 saw LTE RAN grow at a rapid pace to a point that it nearly offset declining RAN technologies — namely GSM, WCDMA and CDMA — during the period.
That said, LTE wasn’t enough to keep the total RAN market — which encompasses 2G, 3G and 4G but excludes TD-SCDMA and SP Wi-Fi — from declining about one percent year-over-year during Q3. This follows three consecutive quarters of year-over-year RAN growth.
"Even though growth is slowing down in some of the more advanced Mobile Broadband (MBB) markets, we are now seeing great demand for LTE in other markets, particularly Europe, with LTE RAN revenues more than doubling year-over-year," said Stefan Pongratz, director of Mobile RAN research at the Dell'Oro Group, in a statement.
This development doesn’t exactly come out of left field as various market research firms have been reporting growth in the LTE RAN space for a while now, even as related markets have been in decline. For example, ABI Research (News - Alert) reported last year that the wireless infrastructure market saw declines during Q2 2012 over the prior quarter, while LTE RAN equipment revenue almost doubled in that same period over the prior quarter while topping Q2 2011 by nearly four times.
As for Q3 2013, Ericsson (News - Alert) maintained its position at the top of the LTE RAN market with a 15-point, four-quarter trailing share lead over its closest competitor, Huawei. Meanwhile, Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) managed to overtake NSN in revenue share during the quarter.
The overall RAN market is expected to pick up again and achieve growth in 2014 thanks largely to China offsetting declines in the U.S. and Japan.