Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) Market Report

Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) Market Analysis Report By Architecture (Centralized, Virtual/Cloud based), By Component, By Network, By Deployment, And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025

  • Published Date: Jan, 2018
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2016
  • Report ID: GVR-2-68038-282-2
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2016
  • Number of Pages: 148

Industry Insights

The global Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) market size was estimated at USD 4.72 billion in 2016. The market is anticipated to witness considerable growth over the next few years’ owing to the adoption of Centralized-RAN architecture by the mobile operators to address the capacity and coverage problem. 

The mobile network operators are facing an array of challenges owing to the exponentially growing mobile data, scarcely available network spectrum for expansion along with additional regulatory limits. It is one the innovative new network architecture which attempts to meet such challenges by providing the cooperative solution and centralizing base station function.

Asia Pacific C-RAN market

Cloud RAN is known as a centralized radio access network. The C-RAN architecture consist of the remote radio heads (RRHs), baseband unit (BBU) and CPRI (Common Public Radio Interface). In this architecture, all the BBU computational resources are combined into a central pool; the radio frequency signals received from the distributed antennas are collected by RRHs and further transmitted to the cloud platform via a transmission network or communication interface. This architecture goals to decrease the number of cell sites while sustaining similar coverage, and reducing operating expenses and capital expenditure while providing enhanced network services.

The major challenge for implementation of the Centralized RAN is the interface between BBU and RRU. The frequently used interface between BBU and RRU is the CPRI (Common public radio interface) for transferring radio signal and was designed formerly for the advancement of the centralized architecture.

The fully centralized technique is the most accepted structure in Cloud RAN which require a massive communication overhead on fronthaul link. High requirement for the bandwidth in the fronthaul link, which cannot be achieved with the help of wireless communication. As a result, high capacity fronthaul requirement and the high-cost optical fiber are the major hindrance for market growth.

Architecture Insights

The centralized architecture segment accounted for the majority share of the market in 2016. The deployment centralized C-RAN architecture by the mobile operators in the Asia Pacific and North America region. The centralized architecture helps in significantly reduce network operating cost and power consumption by pooling baseband function centrally

The market for virtual/cloud-RAN architecture is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 29.6 % from 2017 to 2025. The introduction of NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) and SDN (Software-Defined Networking) technology has backed to carry out base band processing tasks virtually using general purpose processor and generic server farms is driving market growth.

Network Insights

The LTE and 5G segment hold the largest share of C-RAN industry and was valued USD 4.30 billion in 2016. There has been a tremendous change in wireless communication industry in the last few years the current 3G technology has shifted to advance 4G (LTE and LTE-A) and in coming years 5G is expected to be introduced to provide user experience of 10-100 Mbps data speed and with latency less than 1 millisecond.

The C-RAN is emerging as the critical network architecture for 5G, it has innovative elastic and scalable network architectures which can provide the required capabilities to the incorporation of 5G network. For instance, the 5G network is based on standardization concept of network slicing, in which each slice will facilitate each end user with particular performance parameters such as data rate, accuracy, latency, and coverage.

In this concept, it requires the virtualization of the mobile network functions (NFV), in which each network slice will share network infrastructure including radio network with each other. In 5G network, each slice supports diverse performance which can only be possible by real-time sharing and coordination of radio resources. Such type of coordination can be achieved by using centralized, virtual RAN.

Deployment Insights

The outdoor segment accounted for the largest share of C-RAN market in 2016 and was valued USD 4.02 billion in the same year. The major deployment of C-RAN architecture by the mobile operator at the outdoor environment to provide better coverage in high-density areas such as stadiums, urban market, and others is anticipated to drive market growth. For instance, in 2015 Verizon Wireless deployed C-RAN remote heads to support DAS antenna system to handle high data traffic requirement in urban markets.

The C-RAN market indoor segment is anticipated to gain traction over the forecast period. The deployment of small cells an indoor miniature base stations C-RAN by the mobile operators to deliver better service to the mobile subscribers in high-density, high-value environments such as public-use spaces offices, and homes is projected to drive demand over the next few years.

Component Insights

Infrastructure segment dominates the market and anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR of 24.9% over the forecast period. Growing investment by the mobile operators for the deployment of C-RAN architecture is anticipated to drive the market growth over the forecast period. The infrastructure is further categorized into remote radio units, baseband units, and fronthaul. The market for baseband unit segment holds the larger share of the infrastructure market over the forecast period.

Global C-RAN market

The solution segment holds the second largest share of the Centralized Radio Access Network market. The growing demand for NFV solution for RAN visualization to optimized smaller and larger carrier function is projected to drive the industry growth. The rise in demand for the consulting, design & development and maintenance services owing to the deployment of C-RAN architecture by mobile operators is projected to drive the market growth.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific market was valued at USD 1.61 billion in 2016. The market growth in the region can be attributed to stringent initiatives taken by the government and network operators across the countries including Japan, South Korea, and China region to rollout 5G deployment is anticipated to be the major driver for the C-RAN deployment over the next five years.

The North America is the second largest market for C-RAN. The telecom companies in U.S. are aggressively taking the trial for the deployment of C-RAN. For instance, in May 2017 AT&T one of the prime network providers in the U.S. announced to the deployment of small cells by using centralized RAN architecture in San Francisco. This installment of small cells was done to lay down the foundation to densify its network for future 5G deployment.

Cloud Radio Access Network Market Share Insights

The key industry competitors include Nokia Corporation, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Fujitsu Ltd and ZTE Corporation, and others. There is the wide opportunity for semiconductors vendors to enter in the C-RAN market owing to the adoption of NFV (Network Function Virtualization). The utilization of processor and cloud technology in C-RAN has provided potential opportunity for the companies such as Intel, Cavium, and others to become supplier for C RAN architecture.

The vendors are strongly taking effort for the research, development, and deployment of C-RAN. For instance, the company in January 2017, signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China Mobile the mobile service provider in China to ensure collaborative research and development on cloud RAN architecture for future 5G use cases.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2016

Forecast period

2017 - 2025

Market representation

Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2016 to 2025

Regional scope

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

Country scope

U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, China, South Africa, Japan, Brazil, Mexico,

Report coverage

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

15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analyst working days)

If you need specific market information, which is not currently within the scope of the report, we will provide it to you as a part of customization

Segments covered in the report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional & country levels and provides an analysis on the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global cloud RAN market report on the basis of architecture, component, network deployment and region:

  • Architecture Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Centralized

    • Virtualized /Cloud RAN

  • Component Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Infrastructure

      • Remote Radio Units

      • Baseband Units

      • Fronthaul

    • Solution

    • Services

      • Consulting

      • Design and deployment

      • Maintenance and support

      • Others

  • Network Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • 3G

    • LTE & 5G

  • Deployment Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Indoor

    • Outdoor

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • UK

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

      • South Korea

    • Latin America

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

    • Middle East & Africa

Key questions answered by the report
Request for Customization

Choose License Type

Single User - $5,950
Multi User (2-5) - $6,950
Enterprise Access - $8,950

Buy Chapters or Sections

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs:

  • Buy sections of this report
  • Buy country level reports
  • Request for historical data
  • Request discounts available for Start-Ups & Universities

Why Choose Us

  • Research support

    24/5 Research support

    Get your queries resolved from an industry expert.

  • Custom research service

    Custom research service

    Design an exclusive study to serve your research needs.

  • Quality assurance

    Quality assurance

    A testimonial for service in the form of BBB "A" Accreditation.

  • BBB Rating dandb
  • Information security

    Information security

    Your personal and confidential information is safe and secure.

  • grand view research PCI DSS complaint grand view research paypal verified