Cloud-Radio Access Network (C-RAN) Market (Updated Version Available)

Cloud-Radio Access Network (C-RAN) Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis, By Component (Solutions and Services), Deployment (Indoor and Outdoor), Network Type (2G, 3G, and 4G/5G), End-User (Telecom Operators and Enterprises), By Region, Forecast Period 2023 - 2030

Report ID : RI_673682 | Date : April 2023 | Format : ms word ms Excel PPT PDF

This Report Includes The Most Up-To-Date Market Figures, Statistics & Data
Key Market Overview:

Cloud-Radio Access Network (C-RAN) Market is estimated to reach over USD 50.66 Billion by 2030 from a value of USD 11.10 Billion in 2022, growing at a CAGR of 20.90% from 2023 to 2030.

Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) is a network architecture that is used in cellular communication networks, particularly in 4G and 5G networks. In traditional cellular network architectures, base stations are connected through dedicated point-to-point links that was expensive and difficult to manage. In contrast, C-RAN architecture centralizes the baseband processing functions of multiple base stations into a centralized cloud data center. The centralization allows for greater resource sharing and dynamic allocation of resources, leading to more efficient use of network resources and lowering operational costs.

C-RAN reduces the operational expenses for network operators by reducing the number of physical base stations and enabling network sharing. Additionally, C-RAN allows the operator to deploy small and less expensive remote radio heads that are connected to a centralized baseband processing unit (BBU), reducing the cost of equipment and site rental. Moreover, by centralizing baseband processing functions, C-RAN optimizes radio resource allocation and reduces interference between base stations, resulting in better network performance. For instance, in February 2023, Nokia launched anyRAN to drive CloudRAN partnerships enabling flexibility for mobile network operators and enterprises. The solution provides tools and services to facilitate the integration of C-RAN with existing networks and infrastructure, as well as support for network slicing, virtualization, and automation.

Cloud-Radio Access Network (C-RAN) Report Coverage:

Report AttributesReport Details
Study Timeline2017-2030
Market Size in 2030 (USD Billion)USD 50.66 Billion
CAGR (2023-2030)20.9 %
Base Year2022
By ComponentSolutions and Services
By DeploymentIndoor and Outdoor
By Network Type2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G
By End-UserTelecom Operators and Enterprises
By Geography
  • Asia-Pacific [China, Southeast Asia, India, Japan, Korea, Western Asia]

  • Europe [Germany, UK, France, Italy, Russia, Spain, Netherlands, Turkey]

  • North America [United States, Canada, Mexico]

  • Middle East & Africa [GCC, North Africa, South Africa]

  • South America [Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, Chile, Peru]
Key PlayersNokia Corporation, Hytera Communications Corporation Limited, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, Red Hat, Inc., ZTE Corporation, Airhop Communications, Samsung Group, VMware, Inc., Altiostar

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Market Dynamics:


The advent of 5G network technologies is the major driver of the growth of the cloud radio access network (C-RAN) market. 5G networks are designed to deliver significantly higher data rates, lower latency, and greater network capacity than previous generations of wireless technology. To achieve high data transfer speeds, 5G networks require more advanced radio access technologies, such as massive MIMO and beamforming to generate large amounts of data in real time. Therefore, C-RAN is appropriate to support the aforementioned needs by enabling centralized processing of baseband signals and providing greater network capacity through virtualization and network slicing. For instance, in June 2020, Nokia Corporation announced a 5G AirScale CloudRAN solution based on vRAN 2.0. The solution allows the operators to generate revenue from fifth-generation wireless services and enables end-to-end network slicing, addresses IoT requirements, and brings capabilities of cloud computing to the radio access network.


The need for high fronthaul capacity is the key factor that hinders the growth of the Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) market. C-RAN requires high-capacity front haul connections to transport the data generated by remote radio heads (RRHs) to the centralized processing units in the data center. Meeting the fronthaul capacity requirements act as a restraint to the market growth, demanding heavy investment in fiber-optic infrastructure, and is expensive to deploy in rural areas. In addition, the fronthaul capacity requirements are highly variable depending on the specific use case and the population density in a given area, which makes difficult to predict and plan the capacity needs. In conclusion, the need for high fronthaul capacity serves as a major restraint for the growth of the cloud radio access network (C-RAN) market.


The advent of automation technologies is anticipated to create potential future opportunities for Cloud Radio Access Networks (C-RAN). Automation technologies, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, are expected to optimize network performance and reduce operational costs by automating tasks such as network monitoring, fault detection, and self-healing. In a C-RAN architecture, automation is used to dynamically allocate processing resources and optimize network performance, reducing the need for manual intervention and improving overall network efficiency. Hence, the adoption of machine learning and artificial intelligence is subject to creating significant opportunities in the C-RAN market during the forecast period..

Cloud-Radio Access Network (C-RAN) Market Competitive Landscape:

The Cloud-Radio Access Network (C-RAN) market has a highly competitive landscape, with several key players vying for market share. The players are focused on developing innovative C-RAN solutions to cater to the growing demand for high-speed and efficient mobile networks. Players are also investing heavily in research and development activities to develop new technologies and stay ahead of the competition. Key players are:-

• Nokia Corporation
• Hytera Communications Corporation Limited
• Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
• Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson
• Red Hat, Inc.
• ZTE Corporation
• Airhop Communications
• Samsung Group
• VMware, Inc.
• Altiostar

Recent Developments:

• In February 2023, VMware partnered with Samsung to collaborate on virtualized Radio Access Network (RAN) technology. The collaboration is aimed at paving the way for open 5G networks, which will be more flexible, scalable, and efficient than traditionally closed networks.

• In October 2022, Nokia and VMware have joined forces to drive 5G Cloud RAN transformation through joint innovation efforts. The collaboration between the two companies aims to help service providers accelerate the deployment of 5G networks by providing a flexible, agile, and scalable cloud-based RAN solution.

Cloud-Radio Access Network (C-RAN) Market Segmentation:


By Component

The component segment is bifurcated into solutions and services. The solutions dominate the market in 2022 and comprise Baseband Unit (BBU) Solutions, Remote Radio Head (RRH) Solutions, and Virtualized Network Function (VNF) Solutions. BBU solutions are the most commonly used C-RAN solutions and provide the processing power needed to handle the increasing amount of data traffic generated by mobile devices. Additionally, BBU solutions centralize the baseband processing and enable network operators to share processing resources across multiple sites. For instance, in July 2021, Hytera launched 4G and 5G BBU solutions to serve both Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and vertical industry markets. Hyteras BBU solutions provide high processing capacity, enabling operators to handle the increasing amount of data traffic generated by mobile devices, resulting in better user experience and improved network performance.
Services are expected to register the fastest Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in the Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) market during the forecast period. The growing complexity of C-RAN networks requires consulting services to design and plan the network architecture. Consulting services help operators to optimize network performance, reduce costs, and improve the user experience. Once a C-RAN network is deployed, the demand for maintenance and support services increases to ensure that the C-RAN network operates efficiently. Maintenance and support services help operators to identify and resolve issues quickly, minimizing downtime and ensuring optimal network performance which is expected to drive market growth during the near future.

By Deployment

Based on deployment, the C-RAN market is bifurcated into indoor and outdoor. Indoor C-RAN dominates the market and generates maximum revenue in 2022. The increasing use of smartphones, tablets, and other wireless devices, raises the demand for in-building wireless coverage in a variety of locations, including office buildings, shopping malls, hotels, and hospitals. Therefore, indoor C-RAN helps to provide better coverage and capacity in commercial high-density areas, reducing dropped calls and slow data speeds. For instance, in December 2022, Telstra and Ericsson announced the first successful Ericsson Cloud RAN 5G data call on Telstras commercial network. The call was made using Ericssons Cloud RAN technology, which allows for more efficient use of network resources in corporate buildings, resulting in improved network performance and lower costs.
Outdoor C-RANs are expected to witness the fastest CAGR and are majorly deployed in dense urban areas where traditional cell sites are not feasible due to space. Hence, outdoor C-RANs are deployed on rooftops, streetlights, or other existing infrastructure to provide coverage in dense urban areas. Additionally, outdoor C-RANs are also used to provide coverage in remote or rural areas to improve network performance by reducing interference and optimizing signal quality. For instance, in December 2022, Qualcomm introduced the long-range compact macro platform to enable cost-effective outdoor deployments of 5G Cloud-RAN networks. The technology features a compact form factor and low power consumption, becoming ideal for use in urban areas and other high-density environments.

By Network Type

The network type segment is classified into 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G. 4G or LTE dominates the market as 4G networks are deployed widely and offer comprehensive coverage, making easier for users to access high-speed data services. 4G networks have higher data rates and support more users and C-RAN helps 4G networks to increase network capacity by centralizing processing resources and enabling more efficient use of network resources. Additionally, 4G technology comprises advanced features such as carrier aggregation and MIMO that require more processing power and greater network capacity which in turn increases the demand for C-RAN, driving the market growth.
5G technology is expected to witness the fastest CAGR in Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) market. 5G technology is designed to support massive machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, high-speed data transfer, and ultra-low latency applications. The features require significantly higher network capacity than previous generations of wireless technology that are addressed by C-RANs centralized processing and resource allocation. Additionally, 5G networks deliver extremely low latency, which is essential for applications such as autonomous vehicles and remote surgery. C-RAN architecture helps to reduce latency by enabling faster and more efficient allocation of network resources and driving market growth. For instance, in May 2022, Ericsson and Intel announced the launch of a global Cloud RAN Tech Hub to drive the development of Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) technology for 5G networks. The Cloud RAN Tech Hub will focus on the development of next-generation C-RAN technology for 5G networks, with a focus on improving network performance, scalability, and cost efficiency.

By End-User

The end-user segment is categorized into telecom operators and enterprises. Telecom operators dominate the market as telecom operators own and operate the mobile networks for which C-RAN technology is designed to support. Hence, telecom operators have maximum incentives to invest in C-RAN technology to improve network performance, scalability, and cost efficiency. Additionally, operators have a better understanding of the market, including the needs and preferences of the customers that helps the operators to deploy C-RAN solutions to tailor to the specific needs of the customer base. For instance, in April 2020, Red Hat and ZTE collaborated to accelerate the deployment of Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) technology for 5G networks. The collaboration helps to improve network performance, scalability, and cost efficiency, ultimately benefiting consumers and businesses that rely on high-speed and reliable connectivity.
Enterprises are expected to witness the fastest CAGR as enterprises deploy private C-RAN networks to provide high-speed, reliable connectivity for employees, customers, or partners. The adoption of C-RAN technology enables enterprises to improve network performance and scalability, as well as reduce costs compared to traditional distributed antenna systems (DAS). Additionally, C-RAN is used to support retail applications, such as in-store analytics and location-based advertising, by providing high-speed, reliable connectivity to customers and employees, driving market growth.

By Region:

North America dominates the C-RAN market owing to the advanced telecom infrastructures and high investment in 5G network technology that increases the demand for C-RAN technology. Additionally, North America encompasses several large telecom operators, such as AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile that invest heavily in C-RAN technology to improve network performance and scalability, driving the growth of the C-RAN market in the region. Moreover, the players constantly innovating and adopting strategic partnerships to strengthen the position in the market. For instance, in February 2023, AirHop Communications launched AI/ML-powered dynamic energy savings rApp for Open RAN. The solution is designed to provide automation and optimization capabilities for Open RAN networks, helping operators to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.


Asia Pacific is expected to register the fastest CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) in the C-RAN market owing to the high penetration of smartphones and mobile devices, which is driving the demand for high-speed data services. C-RAN technology helps telecom operators meet the rising demand by providing a more efficient and scalable network architecture. For instance, in 2022, China Mobile witnessed an addition of 227.2 million subscribers in the 5G segment and China\'s telecom 5G subscriber base reached a total of 273 million with the addition of 5 million new subscribers. In 2022, the telecom operator added a total of 80.16 million 5G subscribers to its network which increases the demand for C-RAN to offer improved efficiency.
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