EJL Wireless Research Reports Global Macrocell RU/AAU Shipments Increased by 27% in 2023

RU shipments rebounded due to deployments in China

Open RAN/vRAN Compliant RU/AAU shipments down 49%

GRRUMAF-S-2024 Report Cover

Salem, NH May 21, 2024:  Worldwide shipments of radio units (RU) and active antenna units (AAU) for mobile wireless networks across all generations and air interfaces increased by 27% in 2023 and were the third highest levels over the past 14 years, according to the latest report from EJL Wireless Research titled “Global Macrocell Radio Unit/Active Antenna Unit (RU/AAU) Market Analysis and Forecast, 2024-2028 6th Edition.” “Massive MIMO AAU shipments increased slightly by 1% in 2023 compared with 39% growth for non-massive MIMO RUs,” says founder and President, Earl Lum. EJL Wireless Research is forecasting severe near to mid-term weakness for the radio market as demand weakens in China and across the world. Our current view for 2024 RU/AAU shipments is for a decline greater than 40% as mobile operator CAPEX continues to decline.

“The continued evolution of the RU products from single band to dual/triple and even penta-band products is driving the decline in overall 4T4R RUs shipments. While the combined 4T4R segment remained the largest segment, we expect share gains from the massive MIMO segment in 2026 to overtake the macro RU segment,” says Lum.

“Within the Open RAN/vRAN compliant radio market, fragmentation in the massive MIMO Cat B fronthaul specifications may ultimately doom the multi-vendor RU/AAU strategy in favor of a single vendor vRAN or Cloud RAN architecture for mobile operators. We cite the single vendor deal AT&T Wireless/Ericsson Open RAN deal that EJL Wireless Research first announced in December 2023 as an example,” says Lum. ■

For more information on our detailed reports, consulting services, and design analysis services, contact Earl J. Lum directly at (650) 430-2221 or elum@ejlwireless.com. We invite you to subscribe to our Email Updates, or meet with us at upcoming wireless conferences and events. Discover why EJL Wireless Research is the preferred choice for wireless market intelligence.



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