GVR Report cover C-RAN Market Size, Share & Trends Report

C-RAN Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Architecture Type (Centralized-RAN, Virtual/Cloud-RAN), By Component, By Network Type, By Deployment Model, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

  • Report ID: GVR-2-68038-282-2
  • Number of Pages: 132
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Range: 2016 - 2018
  • Industry: Technology

Report Overview

The global C-RAN market size was valued at USD 8.47 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.7% from 2020 to 2027. C-RAN (Cloud Radio Access Network) is defined as either a Virtual/Cloud-radio access network or a Centralized-radio access network. Increasing network congestion due to the wide usage of smart devices and limited spectrum availability has driven the demand for efficient and enhanced network architecture such as C-RAN over the past five years.

U.S. C-RAN market size

The evolution of 5G is anticipated to augment the encumbrance on current infrastructure and network operation model. The C-RAN architecture uses the small-cell model, which is looked upon as a promising approach to address the 5G standards. Hence, the rising measures to test 5G in countries, such as China, South Korea, the U.S., and Japan is expected to propel the cloud radio access network market growth.

Growing implementation of centralized baseband technology to enhance the network performance in traffic hotspots across areas such as offices, stadiums, city-squares, and commuter hubs with high population density per wireless network node is contributing to the market growth. Moreover, a significant rate of adoption of virtual/Cloud-RAN technology for reducing capital expenditures of mobile network operators by applying Network Function Virtualization (NFV) is expected to uplift the network demand.

The network ecosystem is on the verge of transformation, attributing to the growing demand for mobile data requirements and the advent of 5G technologies. In addition, exponentially increasing network traffic and limited availability of spectrum resources are challenging the existing radio network infrastructure. The C-RAN technology thus provides opportunities that can minimize the total cost of ownership and enhance performance in the network. Moreover, strong steps taken by the governments and network operators across different regions for effective 5G deployment in the upcoming years is expected to be a major driver for the deployment of C-RAN.

On the other hand, the requirement for high bandwidth in the fronthaul link is witnessed as a major challenge that is anticipated to hinder the cloud radio access network market growth over the forecast period. The fronthaul requires 10 times more bandwidth capacity as compared to the backhaul used in LTE channels. This could be achieved with a fiber optical cable; however, its deployment cost is very high that might prove as an overhead for mobile network providers. In addition, CPRI fronthaul cannot be deployed easily like backhaul due to which the capacity requirement grows with the rise in the number of users.

Architecture Type Insights

Based on architecture, the C-RAN market has been segmented into centralized-RAN and virtualized/Cloud RAN. Centralized radio access network maintains a dominant position owing to technological advances offered for optical, wireless, and IT communication systems. For instance, it employs the latest CPRI standard, dense wavelength division multiplexing, and mMwave to enable relay of baseband signal over long distances. It results in huge gains through centralized base station deployment.

Virtualized/Cloud RAN segment is projected to exhibit a rapid CAGR over the forecast period, attributed to rise in the adoption of SDN and NFV technology by the wireless telecom industry. Asia Pacific maintains a leading position and is anticipated to register a CAGR of 29.1% over the forecast period. The virtualization of radio access network is anticipated to facilitate the preparation of the carrier for 5G helping to boost the bandwidth requirements. For instance, a 5G base station can virtually enhance both the capacity and efficiency of a system by drawing from a group of baseband units. It shares signaling between cells and simplifies the positioning of innovative features that optimize the resource and enrich the end user experience.

Component Insights

Based on components, the cloud radio access network market can be segmented into infrastructure, software, and services. Infrastructure accounted for the highest market share and was valued at USD 4.35 billion in 2019. The segment would attain a higher revenue share by 2027, owing to the rapid adoption of radio technology and architecture to meet the 5G requirements.

The software segment accounted for the second largest market share in 2019 owing to the increasing demand for NFV solution for radio access network visualization to optimize the larger and smaller carrier function which is further anticipated to drive the growth in near future. In addition, growing investment by mobile operators for effective deployment is also expected to contribute to the segment growth.

However, the service segment is expected to maintain a steady position throughout the forecast period. An increase in demand for consulting, maintenance services, design, and development due to the deployment of C-RAN architecture by mobile operators is anticipated to drive the growth.

Network Type Insights

On the basis of network type, the market has been categorized into 3G and LTE and 5G services. The LTE and 5G services led the market and accounted for a revenue of USD 7.97 billion in 2019. Massive growth in data traffic and rigorous impacts of power consumption by current network architecture results in extra cost burdens to network operators. Hence, operators are seeking for better alternative techniques and architecture, which can help reduce energy cost, provide better coverage, agile network traffic management as well as time-high-throughput.

However, the emergence of 5G is expected to draw challenges on the present network infrastructure in the form of technologies and operation models. Existing mobile networks are designed to match with the requirements for voice and traditional mobile broadband services and are not flexible enough to support 5G services owing to multiple numbers of standard upgrades and complex interfaces. Therefore, the cloud-RAN is an emerging critical network architecture for 5G deployment.

Deployment Model Insights

Based on deployment, the market has been bifurcated into indoor and outdoor. Major deployment of C-RAN architecture by mobile operators in outdoor environments provides better coverage in areas including urban markets, stadiums, and other such places. The market size for outdoor deployment stood at USD 7.12 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to rise at a considerable CAGR over the forecast period. For instance, the Coordinated Multipoint (CoMP) feature calls for close coordination among the remotely separated eNode-Bs (eNBs), which enable dynamic coordination to offer shared scheduling and communication as well as enabling joint processing of the received signals.

Global C-RAN market share

Indoor deployment is anticipated to witness high traction in near future and is anticipated to witness a swift CAGR of 29.1% from 2020 to 2027. The deployment of indoor small cells which are mini base stations for C-RAN architecture to offer better service to the mobile users in high-density, and high-value locations such as public places, offices, and homes are anticipated to drive the growth of the segment.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific is a prominent regional segment for C-RAN technology that accounted for the largest market share in 2019, followed by North America. Factors, such as rising deployment of C-RAN architecture as an initiative to commercialize the 5G in countries, such as China, Japan, and South Korea is expected to drive growth. In addition, the mobile carriers and service providers in South Korea announced in April 2019, that the cost for building a 5G infrastructure would be shared among them. In addition, the South Korean government is supporting these network providers in order to offer early commercialization of 5G technology.

North America is the second-largest market for C-RAN deployment since the U.S. is one of the major countries taking strong initiatives for the deployment of 5G to enhance the performance of IoT, autonomous vehicles, and other advanced technology in the upcoming years. The network providers in the region are making significant investments and conducting trials of C-RAN architecture across major cities in the U.S. to lay the groundwork for 5G.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The companies highly focus on partnerships to offer their solutions and innovations to gain traction. Acquisitions and partnerships are undertaken by the company to enlarge its geographic presence in key markets.

For instance, in February 2019, Rakuten Inc. announced a strategic investment in Altiostar with an aim to expand the company’s vRAN solutions in 4G and 5G technology. ASOCS Ltd. announced its plan to launch a 5G single software stack on mobile edge cloud for enterprises and in-building market. In 2019, Cisco Systems, Inc. announced its plans to implement a radio access network automation strategy using the Cisco SON platform for VodafoneZiggo. Some of the prominent players in the C-RAN market include:

  • Altiostar

  • ASOCS Ltd

  • Cisco Systems, Inc.

  • Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson


  • Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd

  • NEC Corporation

  • Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

  • Nokia Corporation

  • ZTE Corporation

C-RAN Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2020

USD 10.3 billion

Revenue forecast in 2027

USD $43.4 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 22.7% from 2020 to 2027

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2027

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2020 to 2027

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Architecture, component, network type, deployment, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; U.K.; Germany; China; Japan; South Korea; Brazil; Mexico

Key companies profiled

Altiostar; ASOCS Ltd; Cisco Systems, Inc.; Telefonaktiebolaget; LM Ericsson; FUJITSU; Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd; NEC Corporation; Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.; Nokia Corporation; ZTE Corporation

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels, and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global C-RAN market report based on architecture, component, network type, deployment, and region:

  • Architecture Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Centralized-RAN

    • Virtualized/Cloud-RAN

  • Component Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Infrastructure

      • Remote Radio Units

      • Baseband Units

      • Fronthaul

    • Software

    • Services

      • Consulting

      • Design and Deployment

      • Maintenance and support

      • Others

  • Network Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • 3G

    • LTE & 5G

  • Deployment Model (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Indoor

    • Outdoor

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • North America

      • The U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • The U.K.

      • Germany

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

      • South Korea

    • Latin America

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

    • Middle East & Africa

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