Category: Network, Open RAN, Technology evolution, Telecommunications
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Open RAN: A potential billion-dollar market and telecom recruitment’s most in-demand specialism

Recently described as the ‘Lego’ of the telecoms world – a simple but fair comparison – Open RAN’s exciting potential continues to grip the industry. With its ability to assemble networks in myriad ways (rather than relying on the major vendors), Open RAN is causing waves of enthusiasm, especially in the Asian market where Japan are the early adopters.

Recent projections by various firms suggest that Open RAN’s revenue and market value could grow exponentially over the next decade. Dell’Oro report that Open RAN’s market value in APAC alone could potentially grow to $500m-$600m by the end of 2021; the same report states that an optimistic projection could point that figure towards $1bn. In addition to this, Dell’Oro also predict that Open RAN’s total worldwide sales revenue could reach $10bn by 2025.

Insights firm ABI Research go even further to predict that “the total capex spent on Open RAN radio units for public outdoor networks is expected to reach $40.7bn in 2026, while total revenue of Open RAN for indoor enterprise networks will reach as much as $7.6bn in 2026.” ABI Research go as far to suggest that Open RAN could have as much as 75% of market share by 2030. In all cases, it’s worth stressing that these are predictions.

So, what’s causing this surge in demand? Open RAN’s potential include; increased market competition, better choice for customers, lower equipment costs and improved network performance. All of this is resulting in more businesses announcing collaborations to develop Open RAN technologies, with the most recent being Rakuten Mobile who have signed separate Memorandum of Understanding agreements (MoU) with both NEC and Fujitsu.

With all this activity, could Open RAN eventually take over the traditional incumbents such as Ericsson, Nokia, ZTE and Huawei? Time will tell…and it’s a long journey ahead!

A RECRUITMENT SURGE!

A quick search for Open RAN jobs on LinkedIn shows that, at the time of writing this, there are 166 live vacancies worldwide; 43% of those were posted in the last month and 6% were posted within the last seven days – clearly showing an increasing desire by companies to recruit in this space. Here at First Point Group, we concur with the data shown on LinkedIn. We speak with many telecoms businesses, across the globe, asking how we can assist them in recruiting Open RAN specialists.

David Taylor, Managing Director at First Point Group said:

“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.”

We are still in the early stages of Open RAN. Where will this technology lead us to 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.