EJL Wireless Research Reports Global Macrocell BBU Shipments Flat in 2017

5G NR gNodeBs and LTE massive MIMO eNodeBs to ramp in 2018

Ericsson moves up to the top of the market in 2017

Salem, NH, March 28, 2017:  Shipments of digital baseband units (BBU) increased by 1% in 2017 to another year of record shipments, according to the latest report from EJL Wireless Research titled “Global Macrocell BBU Market Analysis and Forecast, 2018-2022 14th Edition.” “We believe that 5G gNodeBs will grow to 48% of overall volumes by 2022,” says founder and President, Earl Lum. EJL Wireless Research is forecasting that the macrocell BBU market will see an 11% decline in shipments in 2018 due to lower CAPEX spending in China and softness in India.

EJL Wireless Research estimates that Chinese equipment vendors accounted for 44% of total shipments in 2017 with the remaining European and Asian equipment vendors representing the other 56%. Ericsson moved up to the top of the market share rankings in 2017.

“We maintain our thesis that the mobile network migration towards 4.5G LTE-Advanced Pro will provide demand pull for eNodeBs over the next several years as Tier 1 mobile operators upgrade portions of their networks to support 3CC CA, 256QAM and 4×4 MIMO technologies. Additionally, the deployment of NB-IoT networks in China and other countries by refarming low band spectrum (800/900MHz) is now also driving demand for LTE BBUs. 5G gNodeBs were still in the field trial stage in 2017 but we expect that these products will ramp in 2018 to support initial deployments in the U.S., China, and South Korea,” says Lum.

“Within the category of 5G gNodeBs, we forecast that the majority of shipments will be to support frequencies below 6GHz with mmWave-associated shipments accounting for 10-15% share through 2022,” says Lum. ■

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