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1 October 2008


Base-station RF component market flat at $1.1bn through 2013

Cellular base-station shipments will increase at a compound annual average growth rate (CAAGR) of over 69% from just 803,000 units in 2007 to 13.4 million units in 2013 as the market for femtocell products starts to take off from 2009-2010 onwards (accounting for 84% of shipments in 2013), forecasts Strategy Analytics in its report 'Cellular Base Station RF Component Market 2008-2013'. However, the corresponding market for RF components for cellular base-stations will remain effectively flat at $1.1bn over 2008-2013.

The migration to 3G+ (third generation plus) and 4G (fourth generation) networks will also drive a move toward smaller form factors as operators look to reuse existing sites and infill capacity with smaller base-stations, says the market research firm. The penetration of micro base-stations will increase to 29% through 2013, but the largest growth in shipments will come from picocell and femtocell shipments.

Demand for standalone power amplifier (PA) modules for upgrading existing networks will be flat to negative as the market focuses on infrastructure rollout for emerging platforms. The PA will account for the largest proportion of RF component revenues through 2013, but only exhibit overall growth 2%.

"Despite the volumes, we do not expect to see a major increase in component revenues, but there will be a few bright spots based around emerging technologies," observes Asif Anwar, director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs service. Silicon LDMOS will remain the incumbent technology for cellular base-station PAs. However, gallium nitride (GaN) technology will start to fulfill earlier promises, with demand for GaN power amplifiers growing at a CAAGR of 76% through 2013, reckons Strategy Analytics.

See related item:

Base-station chip sales to fall slowly over next five years

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