Research company Dell’Oro Group reported better-than-expected uptake for open RAN, predicting the technology will account for 15 per cent of overall radio access network revenue by 2026.

VP and analyst Stefan Pongratz stated the open RAN market had grown quickly and surpassed expectations. But he noted increasing operator scepticism about the cost savings the technology can provide as a potential risk to future deployments.

Pongratz told Mobile World Live Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung are expected to play a leading role in open RAN and are included in Dell’Oro Group’s projections.

However, the analyst noted the company sees a widening technology gap between traditional and new RAN vendors.

The Asia Pacific region continues to lead in open RAN deployments and Dell’Oro Group expects it to account for more than 40 per cent of the sector’s revenue between 2021 and 2026.

It predicted hardware-based open RAN deployments to account for a significant portion of the total, noting virtualised RAN is not growing as quickly: Pongratz predicts the latter will account for between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of total RAN revenue by 2026.

Dell’Oro Group’s forecast includes all deployments using open interfaces, whether or not they conform to O-RAN Alliance specifications.