Next generation communications technologies are only growing in importance, as new applications for old systems are found and completely new systems built from the ground up. We're seeing that particularly clearly as we proceed toward the commercial launch of 5G systems, and a new report from ReportsnReports suggests that LTE (News - Alert) is taking on a whole new importance, which will be reflected by growth in the base station market.
The LTE base station market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.01 percent to 2021, a perfectly rational development given that the first commercial launch of 5G isn't slated to happen until sometime in 2020. That in turn should put a lot of pressure on demand for LTE access, particularly as the world's hunger for bandwidth only grows.
Growth of next generation communications, meanwhile, like network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN), is likewise putting increased demand pressure on LTE growth. With an estimated 2.2 billion mobile connections using LTE—out of a total of 8.5 billion mobile connections happening—in 2020, that's going to also put extra demand on LTE.
Available devices that call for a wireless connection will only rise, and so too will the need for additional bandwidth. Global mobile traffic itself is expected to clear 30 exabytes by 2020, which represents a CAGR itself of 59 percent in the time between 2015 and 2020.
Naturally, there are constraints here; the high deployment costs associated with LTE base stations—especially in light of the need to release a complete next generation communications method in 2020—may keep some firms from expanding altogether despite a clear demand for more bandwidth. Throw in high installation costs for small-cell networks to accompany this, and the need for greater security in the power supply driving these, and there are significant limits on the base station market to consider.
What's amazing here is that despite the sheer number of limiting factors, the market is still poised for impressive growth. We're talking about a 17 percent CAGR for a market that's got more dragging it down than the Titanic, which is really just a testament to the rapid growth in demand for bandwidth. Admittedly, with 5G coming out, the temptation to “wait and see” will be substantial, but we're talking about a technology that's three years out. Who wants to miss out on three years of growth because it's going to be pricey to get in on it?
Though there's a lot weighing the LTE base station market down, we'll still likely see plenty of growth. Only time will tell if these projections mirror reality, but it's a safe bet that growth is on the way.
Edited by Alicia Young