Neutral host networks are benefiting from new technologies and partnerships that should open up opportunities beyond traditional DAS, according to a blog by Stefan Pongratz, Vice President, Dell’Oro Group. In the post, he shared his takeaways from MWC Las Vegas, held last month.
Pongratz mentioned Celona’s announcement at the conference of a neutral host-based partnership with T-Mobile and Ericsson’s collaboration with Fastpartner using the Proptivity product. Additionally, InfiniG unveiled a Neutral Host as a Service offering which will create collaborations with the MNOs, enterprises, and commercial real estate owners.
“With the right ownership and partnership models, the differing ROIs between operators and building owners could change the likelihood of 5G proliferating indoors,” Prongratz wrote.
The conference offered some good news for Open RAN, with Ericsson’s Cloud RAN/Open RAN fronthaul commitments, which was followed by Nokia’s paper clarifying its CloudRAN/Open RAN solution roadmap, according to the expert. Pongratz wrote that the announcements validate Dell’Oro’s belief that Open RAN is “here to stay and it is an architecture for both legacy and new suppliers.”
Private wireless growth is accelerating with revenues up 60 percent YoY in the second quarter of 2023, because it is no longer being marketed to enterprises as a complement to existing WiFi networks, according to Pongratz. “The focus over the past year shifted towards selling cellular connectivity to industrial sites where there is limited or no WiFi/cellular connectivity,” he wrote. Lower total costs of ownership are sweetening the pot.
Dell’Oro remains optimistic about millimeter-wave (mmWave) fixed wireless access, even though questions surrounded the business model. Currently, mmWave accounts for only 2 percent of the RAN market and short-term prospects have been adjusted downward, he wrote. At the MWC event, Verizon and T-Mobile announced that the average FWA user consumes 300 GB and 450 GB of data per month, respectively.
By J. Sharpe Smith, Inside Towers Technology Editor