EJL Wireless Research Reports Global Macrocell BBU Shipments Down 33% in 2020
China continues to dominate 5G NR BBUs with 70% share
5G NR Massive MIMO capable BBUs capture 43% share
Half Moon Bay, CA April 22, 2021: Shipments of macrocell digital baseband units (BBU) experienced a decline of 33% in 2020, according to the latest report from EJL Wireless Research titled “Global Macrocell Baseband Unit Market Analysis and Forecast, 2021-2025, 16th Edition.” “China and its mobile operators captured 70% of massive MIMO 5G NR BBU shipments and 35% of total BBU shipments in 2020,” says founder and President, Earl Lum. EJL Wireless Research is forecasting BBU unit shipment growth of 17% in 2021 and 24% in 2022 that is driven by 5G NR massive MIMO C-Band deployments in the United States as well as continued 5G NR deployments in Europe and China.
“Besides 5G NR stand alone (SA) BBU deployments, we anticipate 5G NR non-stand alone (NSA) BBU upgrades due to mobile operators’ desires to implement dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) technology to support dual mode LTE/5G NR in low and mid-band spectrum. In our opinion, this strategy is the lowest CAPEX intensive option to launch 5G services for mobile operators without procuring new spectrum. We also expect those mobile operators who plan to sunset their 3G networks will likely refarm their 2100MHz Band 1 spectrum for dual mode LTE/5G NR NSA or 5G NR SA services,” says Lum. ■
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