Sept. 10 – Carriers will depend more on innovations in tower mounted amplifiers, remote radio heads and active antennas to meet increasing data capacity demands under CAPEX pressure, according to a report by ABI Research, with the market expected to exceed $4.5 billion by 2017.
“Tower top active RF electronics will become more important as LTE roles out over the next few years. This will be especially true for remote radio heads and active antennas,” said Lance Wilson, research director for mobile networks at ABI Research.
While the base station electronics market as a whole is growing rapidly, tower mounted amplifiers, remote radio heads and active antennas may end up competing with each other for a slice of the pie, according to ABI Research’s Tower Top RF Electronics Research Service.
Tower mounted amplifiers represent one of the best values for improved base station performance for service providers. Balancing the system link budget equation can now be easily accomplished at nominal cost, according to the report. However, remote radio heads’ star is rising in the base station firmament.
Remote radio heads, which are becoming one of the most important subsystems of distributed base stations, represent a threat to TMA market growth.
Active antennas, which allow beam forming and shaping, could themselves affect the remote radio head market as that function is now incorporated into the active antenna.
“All three of the above major RF electronics sub-systems have become intertwined as functions start to converge, according to ABI Research.