Dell’Oro Group reported virtual and open RAN revenue growth slowed in Q1, but stood by a short-term forecast for the latter to account for 6 per cent to 10 per cent of the overall RAN market this year.

It placed open RAN revenue growth in the 10 per cent to 20 per cent range and vRAN 20 per cent to 30 per cent.

Roy Chua, founder and principal analyst at research outfit AvidThink, told Mobile World Live the rate of growth for open RAN spending slowed due to a deceleration in 5G network builds.

Indeed, open RAN flag bearers Dish Network and Rakuten Mobile recently detailed capex reductions.

Chua noted most attention is on shifting from non-standalone 5G to standalone, along with core network upgrades rather than “making the RAN open”.

Stefan Pongratz, VP with Dell’Oro Group, also cited 5G rollouts, noting there were signs of activity beyond the early adopters, but “of course it will take time for the sum of these smaller early majority type deployments to move the broader market”.

Chua still expects open RAN to continue to grow as a category as more vendors adopt open and disaggregated classifications.

“While some are just virtualised, vendor marketing may blur those lines, regardless of compliance with O-RAN Alliance specifications.”

For private mobile networks, he stated it was still an open question whether operators would choose open RAN over proprietary architectures.