According to Mobile Experts, full commercialization of the CBRS spectrum is just around the corner as the equipment manufacturers and solution providers anticipate approval of Initial Commercial Deployment (ICD) results. Both operator- and enterprise-driven applications and use cases continue to drive the CBRS/OnGo market activities, the research house says.
"There's a clear near-term opportunity in fixed wireless deployment leveraging the new CBRS spectrum by major operators like AT&T and local wireless ISPs," said Principal Analyst Kyung Mun. "Mobile operators will be motivated by network capacity expansion through carrier aggregation of the CBRS small cell layer similar to its use of LAA - especially Verizon, which stands out as somewhat 'spectrum-starved' relative to peers. Cable operators are looking to reduce MVNO costs by directing mobile subscriber traffic to their own CBRS network, and enterprise-driven private LTE (think surveillance cameras, IoT sensors, and other mission-critical applications) will drive adoption at key venues."
Mobile Experts foresees CBRS-ready smartphones, such as the latest top-tier handsets from Apple, Samsung, LG, etc., to reach a meaningful penetration of the installed base during the 2022-2023 timeframe. As that manifests, the neutral host in-building cellular application is expected to motivate the market further.
"The CBRS equipment market, including small cell infrastructure end devices, excluding smartphones, will grow from less than $50 million this year to over $850 million in 2024. Half of this market will be driven by the mobility application in 2024, with other major revenue in private LTE, neutral hosts, and fixed wireless," said Mun.
Mobile operators are expected to be the biggest spenders on CBRS equipment, shelling out more than $1.1 billion cumulatively between 2020 and 2024, followed by cable operators, enterprises, neutral-host providers, and fixed wireless ISPs.