Dell’Oro Group found the RAN market began to feel the effects of Covid-19 (coronavirus) restrictions and supply chain disruption during Q1, resulting in the lowest rate of revenue gains in more than two years.

Preliminary estimates in Dell’Oro Group’s quarterly RAN report indicated revenue in the overall 2G to 5G RAN infrastructure equipment market were lower than it expected, though analysts remained confident of growth across the full year.

The company includes hardware, software and firmware in its assessment.

In a statement, Dell’Oro Group VP Stefan Pongratz noted it is still “early days in the broader 5G cycle” and highlighted “healthy” fundamentals.

Pongratz noted he had not made any major adjustments to the aggregate forecast and still expects the broader RAN market to record a fifth consecutive year of revenue growth in 2022, driven by increased investments in North America, Europe and China.

He told Mobile World Live (MWL) the regions performed well during Q1 with Europe recording the strongest growth, though tipped North America to fare well across the full year.

“With this latest update, we revised the full-year projections upward for North America while adjusting APAC, excluding China, downward.”

Dell’Oro placed Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, ZTE and Samsung as the top five vendors in Q1, but noted gains by Fujitsu and NEC contributed to an increase in the market share of companies outside the leading quintet.