Dell’Oro Group, the leading telecoms market research firm, recently predicted a huge upward swing in Open RAN revenues for the coming years, stating that 15% of the total RAN market by 2026 will come from Open RAN. Dell’Oro also forecast that revenue from Open RAN could reach close to $20 billion (USD), doubling the figure suggested by them back in February 2021.
The UK continues to invest into Open RAN
Whilst DellO’ro Group state “The Asia Pacific and North America regions are projected to dominate Open RAN investments throughout the forecast period”, the United Kingdom is continuing to invest further into this technology, with the UK Government recently offering £25 million ($30 million USD) as part of its Future Open Networks Research Challenge to fund telecommunications organisations and universities in 5G and 6G R&D, which telecoms.com suggests is essentially for Open RAN R&D. As explained by telecomtv, The Future Open Networks Research Challenge scheme will enable academics and the industry to “conduct early-stage research into open and interoperable telecoms solutions, such as open radio access network (Open RAN), for use in 5G and future networks such as 6G.” Other Open RAN funding schemes have been launched in the UK such as £10m for the launch of the UK Telecoms Innovation Network (UKTIN), and a collaboration with the Republic of Korea on an R&D project to accelerate the development of Open RAN technology.
How will this affect jobs in Open RAN?
Back in May 2021, First Point Group published an article stating “We are seeing an exceptionally high demand for candidates with ORAN experience, in particular, Solution Architects in RF & RAN Software, and also those with 5G Product Design, Pre-Sales and Sales skills all the way from Engineer to C-level. Our prediction is that this demand will continue to rise over the next two years as COVID eases and ORAN rollouts gather in pace.” This is still the same as jobs in Open RAN continue to be in demand throughout 2022. Back in May 2021, a quick search on LinkedIn showed 166 live Open RAN jobs. The same search in August 2022 displays 472 jobs – a 284% increase.
David Taylor, Managing Director at First Point Group commented “OpenRAN continues to gather pace with a high demand for candidates with experience in this area and indeed a growing number of operators and countries trialling / backing it.”
Where will this technology lead us in terms of innovation, flexibility, and types of roles in the market? Only time will tell, but it’s certainly going to be an exciting journey for all involved.