Forecasting The New RAN: How carriers will monetize the data deluge
|出版日||ページ情報||英文 95 Pages
|新しいRANの予測：キャリアはいかにデータの大氾濫を収益化するのか Forecasting The New RAN: How carriers will monetize the data deluge|
|出版日: 2013年04月01日||ページ情報: 英文 95 Pages||
The biggest challenge for mobile operators in this decade is to narrow the gulf that has opened up between data demand and available wireless capacity, with mobile traffic set to rise by 35 times by 2018, while the revenues generated from that data could rise by just 2.5%.
This makes it vital for mobile operators to slash the costs of delivering data while charging more for their services, by adding value or devising new applications. Both those critical challenges will require a complete rethink of current approaches to the access network. The two main trends will be the deconstruction of the macrocell, to support highly distributed and Cloud RANs; and the adoption of public access small cells in large numbers, to add capacity indoors and outdoors.
This report analyzes and forecasts both those key trends in depth for the period 2012 to 2018, including important elements like Carrier Wi-Fi, smart antennas, HetNet developments and adoption of LTE-Advanced features. It is based on Maravedis-Rethink's ongoing tracking of the top 100 4G operators in the world, in its MOSA
Mobile Operator Strategy Analysis) service; in-depth qualitative studies of 35 tier one mobile carriers; extensive interviews with the entire RAN vendor base and supply chain' and sophisticated modeling.
The result is a detailed examination of the technologies carriers will deploy in their new radio networks in the period to 2018, and the business benefits they expect to gain. There is in-depth quantitative and qualitative analysis of operator strategies and the technologies available to them, particularly in the most disruptive elements of the new network - metrocells, distributed base stations, software programmable BTS, and the beginnings of the software defined network.
There is also analysis of the patterns of deployment in terms of spectrum bands; TDD and FDD modes; cell site size; antenna type; and which LTE-A capabilities will gain prominence. Based on all this analysis, the report provides market sizes, market share calculations and forecasts for small cell and macrocell equipment.
The 'perfect storm' which faces mobile operators round the world is well documented. It can be summarized as:
Just to stand still, operators need to invest in networks which can support the data volumes and user experience demanded by users, but cannot be certain these will guarantee higher ARPUs and profits, when much of the usage is over-the-top.
Without a radical new approach to how networks are built and planned, operators will continue to see a divergence between data growth - which will increase by about 35 times between 2013 and 2018 - and revenue growth (only 2.5% in the same period, if the current network topologies and services were retained).
This report examines the ways in which a radical new way of building the mobile network will help narrow the gap between traffic and revenue, and how that will shake up the supplier rankings.
Hallmarks of the new RAN will include:
These add up to two key and related trends - the distributed network and the small cell. The logical extension of these trends will be two radical network designs which will be fully enabled by LTE-Advanced - the heterogeneous network (HetNet) and the Cloud RAN. Both of these will be firmly on the cellcos' roadmaps from late 2013 with the beginnings of LTE-Advanced upgrades.
The 100 mobile operators tracked by Maravedis-Rethink's MOSA (Mobile Operator Strategy Analysis) service are targeting an average reduction of over one-third (35%) in their cost per Gbyte by deploying the new topologies, compared to what they expected using conventional techniques. As small cells, distributed RAN and HetNet are rolled out widely, the cost of delivering a gigabyte of data can be reduced from almost $40 on a traditionally planned LTE network (or almost $70 on HSPA) to $26.
Small cells are central to the new thinking of the mobile broadband RAN, but many challenges must be overcome before metrocell deployment becomes mainstream. However, there will be significant growth in small cell deployment for public access, both indoors and outdoors. In the early phase, this will be driven by a few pioneers like Softbank Mobile in Japan and SK Telecom in Korea but by 2018 metrocells will be a standard element of carrier build-outs, thanks to lower prices and more robust standards.
An important decision for operators is whether small cells will be primarily deployed indoors, to boost public access capacity and coverage in large buildings and venues, or outdoors, where the class 'lamppost' model comes into play - creating a layer of metrocells close to the ground, typically mounted on street furniture or low buildings. In the first wave the emphasis is on indoor cells, because the majority of heavy mobile data usage takes place indoors and site planning is simpler. By 2018, however, outdoor cells will account for 60% of the market.
Another factor with significant impact on the pattern of investment in metrocells is the urban/rural mix in a carrier's base. Metrocells are a heavily urban phenomenon throughout the study period, as their primary role is to supplement capacity in the most congested areas, and their secondary remit is to deliver differentiators - personalized services, improved quality of experience - where there is the largest number of high value consumers.
All this activity will create a market worth $13bn a year at its value peak in 2016-2017. After this, although deployment units will continue to rise, intense price pressure will drive down overall CAPEX investment in metrocells.
The importance of the small cell should not imply that the traditional cell is going away. Growth in macrocells will be slow compared to that in small cells, but will continue and will be stimulated by the rise of new base station form factors to address larger sites. These will start with the commonly deployed remote radio head (RRH) and evolve towards integrated antenna/radio units such as Ericsson's AIR. Baseband processing is separated, in these examples, and actual site equipment gets smaller, cheaper and lower power.
However, there is significant investment in virtualized baseband processing units - initially on or near the site, but later on remote servers and in the cloud (Cloud-RAN). This means that numbers of deployments to macro sites remain high throughout the period - though in decline after 2016 - but the shape of the equipment is very different. A significant proportion of CAPEX will go on replacing traditional base stations with the new designs, to accommodate easier migration to LTE, LTE-Advanced and new frequency bands.
Each of these elements and trends is analyzed in the report.
Small cells are not the only technology which, though in their infancy in 2013, have the potential to disrupt the way RANs are planned and deployed. The report also analyzes other key trends which will change the shape of the radio network by 2018. The most disruptive, but widely accepted by operators, are Cloud-RAN and various smart antenna technologies, particularly advanced MIMO and, on the horizon AAS.
From 2013, LTE-Advanced features will start to affect the pattern of the new RAN too. LTE-Advanced is not a 'big bang' upgrade, but a diverse menu of enhancements, most optional - some of which are well on the way to commercial availability, but others which will never be deployed at all. The report analyzes which options will be critical to new network design and which will be ignored by operators.
Apart from higher data rates, carrier aggregation and SON features (such as automatic neighbor relations based on the X2 standard) emerge as the features most important, in the 3-year timeframe, to a successful network in terms of performance and business model.
Base station vendors are starting to launch equipment which can support at least some elements of Release 10, most commonly CA and advanced MIMO. Some of the capabilities will be stimulated particularly by the move to small cells, especially eICIC and SON features.
By 2018, carrier aggregation, eICIC, CoMP and 4x4 MIMO will be almost universal in new base stations (88% or above); LTE Broadcast will be commonly deployed (75% of cells). Other features will be less prevalent because they apply to more specialist use cases, as with LTE Relay, or there is significant carrier caution, as in 8x8 MIMO. Release 11 features are starting to become mainstream from 2017 and are present in almost 60% of new base stations shipped in 2018.
The new shape of the radio network will force vendors to respond with their most radical portfolio revamps in years, and their success in doing so will determine the supplier landscape of 2018 - which could be significantly different from that of the 3G world. Smaller players will either be acquired (as Ubiquisys already has been by Cisco) or find major partners to bring their innovations to the required scale. Ericsson, the slowest to embrace the small cell trend, may well seek a partner or acquisition, for instance. The biggest shake-up is likely to be triggered by the entry of Cisco into the access network, with its own small cells and its strategic purchases of RAN technologies like those of Ubiquisys and Intucell.
Small cells are having a disruptive effect on traditional vendor business models by importing consumer-grade economics and new supply chains into their markets.
Maravedis-Rethink analyzes vendors against a set of metrics in its Imago rankings system. In the metrocell ranking, we find that Alcatel-Lucent and Samsung are best placed to build market share in public access metrocells, though Ubiquisys rates most highly for product innovation.
Full vendor SWOT assessments are included for each major OEM in the report.
The final disruption to the base station market will come when telecoms follows the PC model - commoditized hardware, standardized protocols, and functionality added and modified in software. This sounds radical in a base station equipment market which is still worth billions of dollars a year, but by 2018, it will be very real.