Private wireless not growing as fast as expected: Dell’Oro

Analysts at Dell’Oro Group still think private wireless is a massive opportunity, but the firm recently adjusted its projections to reflect a slower ramp-up.

The firm expects the private wireless LTE/5G small cell market to reach $0.8 billion to $1.0 billion by 2026.

The firm recently said small cells account for about 10% of the total Radio Access Network (RAN) market.

“We have adjusted the private small cell forecast downward by about 20%” for the cumulative 2021-2026 period, “to reflect weaker than expected progress over the past six months and a lower starting point -  new data is coming in suggesting the 2021 market is smaller than we initially modeled,” Dell’Oro Group VP Stefan Pongratz told Fierce.

To be clear, their total addressable market (TAM) calculation has not changed. “We still agree with the industry consensus that the market opportunity is rather large (more than $10 B for just the RAN),” Pongratz explained.

However, Dell’Oro Group is not as optimistic as some of the RAN vendors when it comes to the near-term upside, he said.

“The message we have communicated for some time still holds – we still envision the enterprise and industrial play is a long game. This taken together with the fact that the standalone LTE/5G market is developing at a slower pace than previously expected forms the basis for the near-term downgrade,” Pongratz said in a statement.

Dell’Oro Group also said total private wireless RAN revenues, including macro and small cells, are projected to roughly double between 2022 and 2026.