Exploring the Shared & Unlicensed Spectrum LTE/5G Network Ecosystem Market: Unlocking the Potential

The market for shared and unlicensed spectrum LTE/5G network ecosystem is expected to witness significant growth due to the increasing demand for wireless connectivity, the proliferation of IoT devices, and the need for cost-effective network solutions. The deployment of these networks can benefit various industries, including telecommunications, manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, and smart cities, among others.

The shared and unlicensed spectrum LTE/5G network ecosystem market refers to the market for wireless communication systems that operate on shared and unlicensed frequency bands, enabling multiple users to access the spectrum simultaneously. This market encompasses various components, technologies, and services required to establish and operate such networks.

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Shared and unlicensed spectrum networks utilize frequency bands that are available for use by multiple entities without exclusive licensing. These bands include the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band in the United States, the unlicensed 5 GHz band, and other similar frequency ranges designated by regulatory bodies in different countries.

The “Shared & Unlicensed Spectrum LTE/5G Network Ecosystem: 2021 – 2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies & Forecasts” report presents a detailed assessment of the shared and unlicensed spectrum LTE/5G network ecosystem including the value chain, market drivers, barriers to uptake, enabling technologies, key trends, future roadmap, business models, use cases, application scenarios, standardization, spectrum availability/allocation, regulatory landscape, case studies, ecosystem player profiles and strategies. The report also provides global and regional forecasts for shared and unlicensed spectrum LTE/5G RAN infrastructure from 2021 till 2030. The forecasts cover two air interface technologies, two cell type categories, two spectrum licensing models, 12 frequency band ranges, seven use cases and five regional markets.

The report comes with an associated Excel datasheet suite covering quantitative data from all numeric forecasts presented in the report.

Topics Covered

The report covers the following topics:

  • Introduction to shared and unlicensed spectrum LTE/5G networks
  • Value chain and ecosystem structure
  • Market drivers and challenges
  • Enabling technologies and concepts including CBRS, LSA/eLSA, local area licensing, LTE-U, LAA/eLAA/FeLAA, 5G NR-U, MulteFire and sXGP
  • Key trends such as private cellular networks, ongoing expansion of 3GPP technologies into industrial IoT settings, neutral host infrastructure, mobile network densification and fixed wireless broadband rollouts
  • Future roadmap of shared and unlicensed spectrum LTE/5G networks
  • Business models, use cases and application scenarios
  • Spectrum availability, allocation and usage across the global, regional and national domains
  • Standardization, regulatory and collaborative initiatives
  • 40 case studies of LTE and 5G NR deployments in shared and unlicensed spectrum
  • Profiles and strategies of more than 280 ecosystem players
  • Strategic recommendations for LTE and 5G NR equipment suppliers, system integrators, service providers, enterprises and vertical industries
  • Market analysis and forecasts from 2021 till 2030

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Forecast Segmentation

Market forecasts for LTE and 5G NR-based RAN equipment operating in shared and unlicensed spectrum are provided for each of the following submarkets and their subcategories:

Air Interface Technologies

  • LTE
  • 5G NR

Cell Types

  • Indoor Small Cells
  • Outdoor Small Cells

Spectrum Licensing Models

  • Coordinated (Licensed) Shared Spectrum
  • Unlicensed Spectrum

Frequency Bands

  • Coordinated Shared Spectrum
    • 1.8 GHz
    • 2.3-2.6 GHz
    • 3.3-4.2 GHz C-Band
    • 3.5 GHz CBRS Band
    • 26/28 GHz
    • Other Frequencies
  • Unlicensed Spectrum
    • Sub 1-GHz
    • 1.9 GHz sXGP Band
    • 2.4 GHz
    • 5 GHz
    • 6 GHz
    • Higher Frequencies

Use Cases

  • Mobile Network Densification
  • FWA (Fixed Wireless Access)
  • Cable Operators & New Entrants
  • Neutral Hosts
  • Private Cellular Networks
    • Offices, Buildings & Corporate Campuses
    • Vertical Industries

Regional Markets

  • North America
  • Asia Pacific
  • Europe
  • Middle East & Africa
  • Latin & Central America

Key Questions Answered

The report provides answers to the following key questions:

  • How big is the opportunity for LTE and 5G NR networks operating in shared and unlicensed spectrum?
  • What trends, drivers and challenges are influencing its growth?
  • What will the market size be in 2024, and at what rate will it grow?
  • Which submarkets and regions will see the highest percentage of growth?
  • What are the existing and candidate shared/unlicensed spectrum bands for the operation of LTE and 5G NR, and what is the status of their adoption worldwide?
  • What are the business models, use cases and application scenarios for shared and unlicensed spectrum?
  • How will CBRS and other coordinated shared spectrum frameworks accelerate the uptake of private cellular networks for enterprises and vertical industries?
  • How does the integration of shared and unlicensed spectrum relieve capacity constraints faced by traditional mobile operators?
  • What opportunities exist for cable operators, neutral hosts, niche service providers and other new entrants?
  • What is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on shared and unlicensed spectrum LTE/5G network deployments?
  • Who are the key ecosystem players, and what are their strategies?
  • What strategies should LTE and 5G NR equipment suppliers, system integrators, service providers and other stakeholders adopt to remain competitive?

Key Findings

The report has the following key findings:

  • Even with ongoing challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic-induced economic slowdown, SNS Telecom & IT estimates that global investments in LTE and 5G NR RAN infrastructure operating in shared and unlicensed spectrum will account for more than $1.3 Billion by the end of 2021. The market is expected to continue its upward trajectory beyond 2021, growing at CAGR of approximately 44% between 2021 and 2024 to reach nearly $4 Billion in annual spending by 2024.
  • Breaking away from traditional practices of spectrum assignment for mobile services that predominantly focused on exclusive-use national licenses, telecommunications regulatory authorities across the globe have launched innovative frameworks to facilitate the coordinated sharing of licensed spectrum.
  • Notable examples include the United States’ three-tiered CBRS scheme for dynamic sharing of 3.5 GHz spectrum, Germany’s 3.7-3.8 GHz licenses for private 5G networks, the United Kingdom’s shared and local access licensing model, France’s 2.6 GHz licenses for industrial LTE/5G networks, the Netherlands’ local mid-band spectrum permits, Japan’s local 5G network licenses, Hong Kong’s geographically-shared licenses, and Australia’s 26/28 GHz area-wide apparatus licenses.
  • Collectively, these ground-breaking initiatives are catalyzing the rollout of shared spectrum LTE and 5G NR networks for a diverse array of use cases ranging from private cellular networks for enterprises and vertical industries to mobile network densification, FWA and neutral host infrastructure.
  • In particular, private LTE and 5G networks operating in shared spectrum are becoming an increasingly common theme. For example, Germany’s national telecommunications regulator BNetzA (Federal Network Agency) has received more than a hundred applications for private 5G licenses in 2020 alone. Dozens of purpose-built 5G networks are already in operational use by the likes of aircraft maintenance specialist Lufthansa Technik, industrial conglomerate Bosch, automakers and other manufacturing giants.
  • Since the commencement of its local 5G spectrum licensing scheme, Japan has been showing a similar appetite for industrial-grade 5G networks, with initial field trials and deployments being spearheaded by many of the country’s largest industrial players including Fujitsu, Mitsubishi Electric, Sumitomo Corporation and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
  • Among other examples, the 3.5 GHz CBRS shared spectrum band is being utilized to set up private LTE networks across the United States for applications as diverse as remote learning and COVID-19 response efforts in healthcare facilities. 5G NR-based CBRS implementations are also expected to emerge between 2021 and 2022 to better support industrial IoT requirements. Multiple companies including agriculture and construction equipment manufacturer John Deere have already made commitments to deploy private 5G networks in CBRS spectrum.
  • Mobile operators and other cellular ecosystem stakeholders are also seeking to tap into vast swaths of globally and regionally harmonized unlicensed spectrum bands for the operation of 3GPP technologies. Although existing deployments are largely based on LTE-LAA technology whereby license-exempt frequencies are used in tandem with licensed anchors to expand mobile network capacity and deliver higher data rates, standalone cellular networks that can operate solely in unlicensed spectrum – without requiring an anchor carrier in licensed spectrum – are beginning to emerge as well.
  • In the coming years, with the commercial maturity of 5G NR-U technology, we also anticipate to see 5G NR deployments in unlicensed spectrum for both licensed assisted and standalone modes of operation using the 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands as well as higher frequencies in the millimeter wave range – for example, Australia’s 24.25-25.1 GHz band that is being made available for uncoordinated deployments of private 5G networks servicing locations such as factories, mining sites, hospitals and educational institutions.

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List of Companies Mentioned:

3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project), 5G-ACIA (5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation), 6Harmonics/6WiLInk, 7Layers, Aaeon Technology, ABB, ABiT Corporation, Accelleran, Accenture, Accuver, ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority), ADRF (Advanced RF Technologies), Affirmed Networks, Airgain, Airspan Networks, Airtower Networks, Airwavz Solutions, AKOS (Agency for Communication Networks and Services of the Republic of Slovenia), Akoustis Technologies, Alabama Power Company, Alef Edge, Allen Vanguard Wireless, Alliance of Industrial Internet, Alpha Wireless, Alphabet, Altiostar Networks, Altran, Amazon, Amdocs, American Dream, American Tower Corporation, Amit Wireless, ANACOM (National Communications Authority, Portugal), Angel Stadium, Anritsu Corporation, ANS (Advanced Network Services), Antenna Company, Anterix, Apple, ARCEP (Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques), ARIB (Association of Radio Industries and Businesses, Japan), Artemis Networks, Askey Computer Corporation, ASOCS, ASTRI (Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute), ASUS (ASUSTeK Computer), AT&T, Athonet, ATIS (Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions), ATN International, AttoCore, Axell Wireless, Azcom Technology, BAI Communications, Baicells Technologies, Ballast Networks, BBB (BB Backbone Corporation), BBK Electronics Corporation, BearCom, BEC Technologies, Benetel, Benic Solution Corporation, Billion Electric, BIPT (Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications), Black Box Corporation, Blackned, BLiNQ Networks, Blue Arcus Technologies, Blue Danube Systems, BNetzA (Federal Network Agency, Germany), Boingo Wireless, Branch Communications, BTI Wireless, BTK (Information and Communications Technologies Authority, Turkey), Bureau Veritas, BVSystems (Berkeley Varitronics Systems), BYD, CableFree (Wireless Excellence), CableLabs, Cal.net, Caltta, Cambium Networks, Cambridge Consultants, Carlson Wireless Technologies, Casa Systems, CBRS Alliance, CCI (Communication Components Inc.), CCN (Cirrus Core Networks), CCSA (China Communications Standards Association), CellAntenna Corporation, cellXica, Celona, Centerline Communications, CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations), Charter Communications, China Mobile, Chunghwa Telecom, CICT (China Information and Communication Technology Group)/China Xinke Group, Cisco Systems, CITC (Communications and Information Technology Commission, Saudi Arabia), CITRA (Communication and Information Technology Regulatory Authority, Kuwait), Claro, ClearSky Technologies, Codium Networks, Comba Telecom, CommAgility, CommScope, Compal, COMSovereign, Connectivity Wireless Solutions, Contela, Contour Networks, Corning, Council Rock, Cradlepoint, Crown Castle International Corporation, CTIA, CTS (Communication Technology Services), CTU (Czech Telecommunication Office), Dali Wireless, Dallas Love Field Airport, Danish Energy Agency, DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit), Dejero Labs, DEKRA, Dell Technologies, Digi International, Digicert, Digital Colony, DKK (Denki Kogyo), Druid Software, DSA (Dynamic Spectrum Alliance), Dynabook, ECT (Hutchison Ports ECT Rotterdam), EETT (Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission), EION Wireless, ENACOM (Ente Nacional de Comunicaciones), Encore Networks, Ericsson, ETRI (Electronics & Telecommunications Research Institute, South Korea), ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute), EXFO, ExRobotics, ExteNet Systems, Facebook, Faena Forum, Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Fairspectrum, FCNT (Fujitsu Connected Technologies), Federated Wireless, FedEx, Fibrolan, FreedomFi, FRTek, Fujitsu, Future Technologies Venture, GCT Semiconductor, GE (General Electric), Gemtek Technology, Geoverse, Getac Technology Corporation, Gogo, Goodman Networks, Google, Granite Telecommunications, Green Packet, HCL Technologies, HFR, Hitachi Kokusai Electric, Hon Hai Precision Industry (Foxconn Technology Group), HP, HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise), HTNG (Hospitality Technology Next Generation), Huawei, Huber+Suhner, iBwave Solutions, IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), IIC (Industrial Internet Consortium), IMDA (Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore), Infomark Corporation, Infosys, Infovista, Innonet, InnoWireless, Inseego Corporation, Insta Group, Intel Corporation, Intenna Systems, InterDigital, IoT4Net, ip.access, IPLOOK Networks, iPosi, ISED (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada), ITU-R (International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector), Jaton Technology, JCI (Japan Communications Inc.), JEMS (Japan EM Solutions), JIT (JI Technology), JMA Wireless, John Deere (Deere & Company), JRC (Japan Radio Company), Juni Global, Kajeet, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kementerian Kominfo (Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Indonesia), Key Bridge Wireless, Keysight Technologies, Kisan Telecom, KLA Laboratories, Kleos, KMW, Koning & Hartman, KORE Wireless, KPN, Kyocera Corporation, Kyrio, Landmark Dividend, Lekha Wireless Solutions, Lemko Corporation, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Lime Microsystems, Lindsay Broadband, Linx Technologies, LS telcom, LTE-U Forum, Lufthansa Technik, M/C Partners, Maven Wireless, Mavenir Systems, MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission), McWane, Memorial Health System, Metaswitch Networks, Metro Network Services, MIC (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan), MiCOM Labs, Microlab, Microsoft Corporation, Midco (Midcontinent Communications), MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China), MitraStar Technology, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, MLB (Major League Baseball), Mobile Mark, Mobilitie, Motorola Mobility, Motorola Solutions, MRT Technology (Suzhou), MSB (M S Benbow & Associates), MSIT (Ministry of Science and ICT, South Korea), MTI (Microelectronics Technology, Inc.), MTI Wireless Edge, MTS (Mobile TeleSystems), MulteFire Alliance, Multi-Tech Systems, Murray City School District, NBTC (National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, Thailand), NEC Corporation, Nemko, NetCity (GEOS Telecom/GEOS Holding), Netgear, NetNumber, Netvision Telecom, NewEdge Signal Solutions, Nextivity, NGMN Alliance, Nkom (Norwegian Communications Authority), Node-H, Nokia, Nominet, Nsight Telservices, NTC (National Telecommunications Commission, Philippines), NuRAN Wireless, Nutaq Innovation, Ocado, Oceus Networks, Octasic, OFCA (Office of the Communications Authority, Hong Kong), Ofcom (Office of Communications, United Kingdom), OnePlus, ONF (Open Networking Foundation), OPPO, Optage, Oracle Communications, Panasonic Corporation, Panorama Antennas, Parallel Wireless, Parsec Technologies, Pavlov Media, PCTEL, PCTEST Lab (PCTEST Engineering Laboratory), PGA Tour, Pierson Wireless, Pivot Technology Services, Pivotal Commware, PK Solutions, Polaris Networks, Port of Rotterdam Authority, Potevio, PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority), PTS (Post and Telecom Authority, Sweden), QuadGen Wireless Solutions, Qualcomm, Quantum Wireless, Qucell, Quectel Wireless Solutions, Qulsar, Quortus, Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands, Radisys Corporation, Ranplan Wireless, RATEL (Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services, Serbia), Raycap, RCI (Rural Cloud Initiative), Realme, Rearden, RED Technologies, Redline Communications, Reliance Industries, RF Connect, RFS (Radio Frequency Systems), Rivada Networks, RKTPL (RK Telesystem Private Limited), Robert Bosch, Rohde & Schwarz, Royal Dutch Shell, Ruckus Networks, RuggON Corporation, RWG (Rotterdam World Gateway), Saankhya Labs, SAC Wireless, Safari Telecom, Samsung, Sanjole, SBA Communications Corporation, SCM (Smart City Media), SCRF (State Commission for Radio Frequencies, Russia), SDG&E (San Diego Gas & Electric) Company, Select Spectrum, Sempra Energy, Seowon Intech, Sequans Communications, Sercomm Corporation, SGCC (State Grid Corporation of China), SGS, Shanghai Smawave Technology, Sharp Corporation, Siemens, Sierra Wireless, SIPG (Shanghai International Port Group), Sivers IMA, Small Cell Forum, Smart City Networks, SmarTone, SoftBank Group, SOLiD, Sony Corporation, Sony Mobile Communications, Southern Company, Southern Linc, Spectrum Effect, Spirent Communications, Sporton International, SQUAN, SSC (Shared Spectrum Company), Star Solutions, STEP CG, STL (Sterlite Technologies Ltd), Strata Worldwide, Subtel (Subsecretaría de Telecomunicaciones de Chile), Sumitomo Corporation, Sunwave Communications, SureSite Consulting Group, Suzhou Aquila Solutions (Aquila Wireless), Syniverse Technologies, T&W (Shenzhen Gongjin Electronics), Tait Communications, Tango Networks, Taoglas, Teal Communications, Tecore Networks, Telewave, Teleworld Solutions, Telit Communications, Telrad Networks, Telsasoft, Tessares, TESSCO Technologies, ThinkRF, Tilson, TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile), Times Square Alliance, TLC Solutions, TRA (Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, United Arab Emirates), Traficom (Transport and Communications Agency, Finland), Transit Wireless, Trilogy Networks, TSDSI (Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India), TTA (Telecommunications Technology Association, South Korea), TTC (Telecommunication Technology Committee, Japan), TÜV SÜD, U.S. FCC (Federal Communications Commission), Ubicquia, UCSB (University of California, Santa Barbara), UKE (Office of Electronic Communications, Poland), UL, Unizyx Holding Corporation, URSYS, Valid8, Vapor IO, Ventev, Verizon Communications, Vertical Bridge, Verveba Telecom, Viavi Solutions, VINCI Energies, Virtual Network Communications, Vivo, Vodacom Group, Vodafone Germany, Vodafone Group, Wave Wireless, Wavesight, WBA (Wireless Broadband Alliance), Westell Technologies, WhiteSpace Alliance, Widelity, Wi-Fi Alliance, Wilson Electronics, Wilus, WIN Connectivity (Wireless Information Networks), Winncom Technologies, WInnForum (Wireless Innovation Forum), Wireless Telecom Group, WNC (Wistron NeWeb Corporation), Wytec International, XGP (eXtended Global Platform) Forum, Yangshan Port, Zebra Technologies, ZenFi Networks, Zinwave, Zmtel (Shanghai Zhongmi Communication Technology), ZTE, Zyxel Communications.

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