5G will not boost cellular until 2021

Base stations sales are in decline after LTE boom.

August 02, 2017

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Base stations sales are in decline after LTE boom.

Market watcher sees $10 billion revenue decline 2014-2020 for base stations as mainly LTE small cells get traction. Source: EE Times

Despite enthusiasm over 5G, spending on cellular base stations will continue a significant decline over the next three years before returning to growth in 2021, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.

The report is roughly in line with the outlook from infrastructure giant Ericsson that reported worse than expected quarterly results. Dell'Oro predicted a high single-digit percentage decline in base station sales this year followed by two years of decline in low single digits. Ericsson expressed hopes that the market would be flat in 2019.

The news underlines the precarious position for wireless vendors. They are making significant investments now in 5G technologies and services while navigating the end of major 4G deployments.

"The lull is impacting all regions and all vendors, impacting all three leading vendors, although so far, Huawei has weathered the downturn better than Ericsson and Nokia," said Stefan Pongratz, a senior director and analyst at Dell'Oro. "We see some promising signs in North America, but the China market is expected to contract 2017, and Europe will overall see a near-term decline."

To read the full article, go to EETimes.

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