Mobile Experts has just released a new forecast predicting that base station transceiver shipments will grow from 11 billion in 2012 to 17 billion by 2017.
The market analysis firm credits carrier aggregation, active antenna systems (AAS) and multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) adoption with driving demand for base station transceivers.
In past reports, Mobile Experts has also credited LTE (News - Alert) with driving the base station transceiver market by creating new and richer network architectures. Overall, the RF semiconductor market should increase to $3 billion by 2017.
Although unit shipments will increase, Joe Madden, who is principal analyst for Mobile Experts, says that dollar content per unit will decrease. Reductions in radio frequency (RF) power as well as MIMO and AAS will account for the decrease in dollar content.
MIMO increases both link range and data throughput without increasing transmit power or requiring increased bandwidth. The technology pushes transmit power over multiple antennas at both the transmitter and receiver.
By spreading the transmission over multiple antennas, MIMO creates an array gain, which in turn creates increased spectral efficiency, transmitting more bits per second per hertz of bandwidth. Additionally, diversity gain strengthens the reliability of links. The overall effect is to increase channel capacity.
An AAS integrates the functionality of a dual-polarized antenna with a remote radio head (RRH). The functions are blended into a single housing that can be deployed at the tops of towers. Active antenna electronics distributed within the antenna give each radiating element a dedicated transmit and receive path.
Carrier aggregation combines small, leftover bits of spectrum into large spectrum blocks that have a capacity of as much as 100 MHz.
“We have investigated more than 33 different Carrier Aggregation band combinations, and we've included the impact of CA (News - Alert) in our transceiver forecast,” said Madden.
“The market has become highly complex, and our model includes AAS, Integrated Antenna/Radio modules, MIMO, and now CA in order to illustrate what is really driving the trends in the base station market.”
Edited by Brooke Neuman