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The cellular base-station market is entering a time of considerable change. Despite the worldwide macroeconomic outlook, conditions are favorable for continuing growth, particularly in emerging markets, with the market for base-station radio components set to top US$5.4 billion worldwide by 2015. Mobile service providers and equipment vendors are moving toward smaller cells and improving spectral efficiency with new air interfaces such as LTE. Advances in technology are opening up the market to a host of new players, posing a substantial threat to the more established semiconductor firms and subsystem equipment vendors that have dominated this space for so long. New semiconductor materials and techniques for improving linearity and efficiency could potentially serve as the Trojan horses that allow new players to enter the base-station component market and undermine the current market leaders.
Date of Publication: March-April 2012