Open RAN capex: Global market forecast for 2020-2030

The open RAN’ encompasses a group of technological approaches that are designed to make the radio access network (RAN) more cost effective and flexible. It involves a shift away from traditional, proprietary radio hardware and network architectures, driven by single vendors, towards new, virtualised platforms and a more open vendor ecosystem.

STL Partners has created a model to estimate the size of the Open RAN market until 2030. The output of the model estimates the percentage of active RAN capex that is dedicated to Open RAN across five different scenarios: from ‘pure’ (assuming 100% of RAN capex is Open RAN) to ‘none’ (assuming 0% of RAN capex is Open RAN).


  • Pathway 1: Committed O-RAN-philes with 4G refresh
  • Pathway 2: Late with 5G, fast with O-RAN
  • Pathway 3: NEP-otists, evolving with NEPs
  • Pathway 4: Industrial O-RAN
  • Pure: Pure greenfield

The outputs have been modelled by aggregating and extrapolating financial data from eighteen operators. These operators have been selected as they represent a range of potential pathways towards Open RAN.

For more information on STL Partners’ work on Open RAN, please get in touch with Emma Buckland.

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Access the full O-RAN market forecast

This capex forecast is STL Partners’ first attempt at estimating the value of the O-RAN market.

  • This is STL Partners’ first O-RAN market value forecast
  • It is based on analysis of telco RAN capex and projected investment pathways for O-RAN
  • The assumptions are informed by public announcements, private discussions and the opinions of our Telco Cloud team
  • We look forward to developing it further based on client feedback
Matt Bamforth


Matt Bamforth

Senior Consultant

Matt is a Senior Consultant at STL and has experience in consulting projects across a wide range of topics. These span areas such as 5G, private networks, telco cloud, and edge computing. Matt has previous experience in strategy consulting, as well as in the Fintech sector. He holds a BSc in Economics from University College London.

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