PARTNER FEATURE: In August 2019, ABI Research, one of the world’s leading global tech market advisory firms, released its 2018 research report regarding global base station antennas – Mobile Base Station Antennas Competitive Assessment. This report presented a comprehensive assessment of the market performance of major vendors’ passive antennas.

According to ABI Research, the global base station antenna market is stable, with Huawei, Kathrein, and CommScope accounting for approximately 70% of the passive antenna market share. Huawei accounts for 34.4% of the market share, maintaining its leading position for the fourth consecutive year. Huawei is the only top 3 vendor to achieve a year-on-year positive growth in market share. Rosenberger and ACE Technologies rapidly gained market share, fueled by the Indian market and 5G construction in South Korea, respectively.

Market share is strongly related to innovation and implementation. ABI Research assessed the technological innovation and implementation of major antenna vendors.

The innovation assessment touches on multi-band capabilities, ultra-wideband capabilities, basic intellectual property rights and R&D, active antenna support, and antenna configuration and maintenance. The implementation assessment takes account of market share, regional market penetration, financial and organizational health, bid winning from major customers, and product full-series capabilities.

With a score of 94.5, Huawei ranked the highest in antenna technological innovation and implementation, followed by Kathrein with a score of 88.4, and CommScope with a score of 86.6.

Innovation versus Implementation vendor matrix

In addition to 2018 market performance, ABI Research released its forecast for market space and industry development in the 5G Antenna Innovations report. The base station antenna market will grow steadily with a compound annual growth rate of approximately 5.5%. Continuous 4G construction that includes FDD 4T4R reconstruction in Southeast Asia and 4G construction in Africa is beneficial to the growth rate. It is also a direct result of the growing 5G-driven demand for multi-band and massive MIMO antennas, in which the reconstruction of legacy antennas is necessary.

Mobile cellular antenna revenue and shipments world markets, forecast: 2013 to 2023

This report also predicted a compound annual growth rate of approximately 15% for active antennas, surpassing the overall performance of base station antennas. Active antennas are estimated to account for a noticeably growing proportion, indicating another trend of the active antenna market. This is accredited to the scaled Massive MIMO development that accompanies rapid 5G growth. Massive MIMO will undoubtedly be a core technology for 5G. This is the main driving force behind mobile network equipment vendors integrating with traditional passive antenna vendors.

Active antenna shipments and penetration rate world markets, forecast: 2014 to 2023