Millimeter wave technology is a band of radio frequencies, with a spectrum band between 30GHz to 300GHz. The short wavelength of the technology provides sub-mm range accuracy. Some of the benefits comprise of increased performance, better coverage, and closer integration across multiple wireless technologies, such as 4G LTE to Wi-Fi, sub-6GHz 5G, and 5G mm-wave. Additionally, its compliance with 5G has largely benefitted in easy deployment.
The goal of mm-Wave is to expand the available data bandwidth over smaller, heavily populated regions. It will be a crucial part of 5G in many cities, powering data in sports stadiums, malls, and convention centers, and essentially everywhere, data congestion may be a problem. Outside rural towns and villages, sub-6GHz and low bands below 2GHz are likely to play a more crucial role in ensuring consistent coverage.
Further, the millimeter wave technology market is expected to grow from USD 1 billion in the year 2019 to USD 4.8 billion in 2027, with a CAGR of 19%.
With the proliferation of technology, there has been a surge in the utility and demand for internet services. Digitalization in all the industry verticals has led to the faster adoption of smartphones and other connected devices. As stated by the 'State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2019', published by GSMA, globally, in 2019, there were 372 million active mobile services accounts. As stated in the 'State of Broadband: Broadband as a Foundation for Sustainable Development,' September 2019, published by Broadband Commission, International Telecommunication Union, approximately 51% of the total population use the internet. Thus, a surge in demand for increased broadband and mobile internet utility speed has been noted. The mm-wave technology is anticipated to be used for 5G backhaul. On April 14, 2020, Samsung demonstrated that with full potential, the 5gmmwave can achieve a speed of 8.5 Gbps across multiple devices.
The transition of the next-generation tactical networks and electronic warfare, along with the tremendous need for connectivity bandwidth and speed, has surged the demand for mm-wave technology. The increase in the utilization and the sophistication of the connected devices has led to congestion on the network. Some of the applications in the military comprise terrestrial radar, manpack portable radios, advanced driver assisted systems (ADAS), and the need for quick and high-quality images and videos of the battlefield, which is provided by mm-wave technology. Its widening scope in the aerospace industry for in-flight connectivity (IFC), air-to-ground network (ATG), airplane to ground station link, and continuous connection with a displacing aircraft have bolstered the growth of the millimeter-wave technology market.
Low penetration of mm-wave technology through the obstacles has limited the growth of the market. The inability of the high-frequency signals to penetrate through the walls and provide an effective network hampers the market. The extremely short wavelength of this technology allows the data to be transferred faster but at a very short distance. It also raises the need to deploy multiple base stations, eventually increasing the cost incurred.
The telecommunication equipment segment caters to the largest share, owing to the utilization of the 5G backhaul, along with the mm-wave technology. Further, its increased deployment in the enclosed spaces, such as malls, airports, colleges, and public places, has bolstered the growth of the market growth. The substantial utilization and the high-frequency mm-wave technology for the radar and communication segment have strengthened the military and the aerospace industry vertical.
The unlicensed frequency millimeter wave segment caters to the maximum share, owing to the tremendous number of plans offered by the leading telecommunication companies that are yet in the initial stage. Further, most customer’s show a preference towards the license frequency millimeter wave, owing to the security features offered and increased adoption by the consumer for personal use. Thus, it is anticipated to grow with a higher CAGR during the forecast period.
North America dominates the millimeter wave technology market, owing to the presence of key players, such as Axxcss Wireless Solutions, Keysight Technologies, Eravant, Aviat Networks, L3HARRIS, Millimeter Wave Products, and rapid adoption of advanced technology. For instance, as per the 'CISCO Annual Internet Report, 2018', the number of internet users in the region is expected to be 92% of the total population by 2023. The report also states that the region will have 75% of the devices connected to a wired or wireless network while the remaining will be a mobile-connected network.
Most of the telecommunication companies of the U.S. have been investing in their research and development to deploy this technology. For instance, Qualcomm collaborated with Corning Inc. on February 20, 2020, to develop enterprise 5G mmWave infrastructure systems. In order to provide inexpensive and easy-to-install 5G-ready networks indoors, Qualcomm will provide its 5G and mm-wave technologies with Corning's industry-proven small cell experience.
The Asia-Pacific region is anticipated to exhibit the fastest growth, owing to the increasing number of smartphone devices and internet connections and favorable government initiatives in countries such as Japan, South Korea, and China. As stated in the work plan of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China is anticipated to propose a 5G mm-wave frequencies usage plan and deploy 50,000 5G base stations in over 50cities of the country. Further, in the ICT Ministry plan 2018, South Korea aimed to launch 45,000next-generation 5G stations by 2021. The telecom operators of the country also sought to commercialize an ultrafast millimeter-wave 5G network by the end of this year.