What’s up with… RAN market, Raspberry Pi, Telia

  • RAN market is ‘still a disaster’, according to Dell’Oro
  • Tiny computer maker preps London IPO
  • Telia’s COO quits

In today’s industry news roundup: The RAN sector shrunk by as much as 30% year on year in the first quarter; Raspberry Pi is preparing to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange; Telia needs to find a new chief operating officer; and much more!

The radio access network (RAN) technology market is “still a disaster,” according to research firm Dell’Oro Group, which says the “overall 2G-5G RAN market – including baseband plus radio hardware and software, excluding services – declined by 15% to 30%” year on year in the first quarter of this year, the third consecutive quarter of double-digit contractions. “It’s difficult to find a silver lining in the first quarter,” stated Stefan Pongratz, vice president and analyst at the Dell’Oro Group. “We’ve been monitoring the RAN market since the year 2000, and the contraction experienced in the first quarter marked the steepest decline in our entire history of covering this market,” noted Pongratz. That the first quarter of this year was a dire one for the RAN sector was borne out in the financial reports from Ericsson and Nokia, though both companies expect the second half of the year to yield improving market conditions. As a result of the first-quarter dip, Dell’Oro now expects the value of the global RAN equipment sector to shrink by between 5% and 8% (which according to TelecomTV’s estimations would value it at less than $35bn). Huawei is still the global market leader, followed by Ericsson, Nokia, ZTE and Samsung.

Raspberry Pi, which develops low-cost simple computers that can be used as embedded systems in tech products and in IoT and other types of networks, has filed for an IPO on the London Stock Exchange in a move that could value the company at as much as £500m. Since it started trading in 2012, it has sold more than 60 million single board computers (SBCs), which are about the size of a credit card, and compute modules, of which 7.4 million were sold in 2023 alone. It sources many of its components from Broadcom, and Sony is its main product manufacturer. For the year that ended 31 December 2023, Raspberry Pi reported revenues of $265.8m and an operating profit of $37.5m. It estimates that its total addressable market is approximately $21.2bn, “reflecting a substantial opportunity for it to capitalise on and sustain its strong growth trajectory,” the company noted in its announcement about its intention to float on the London exchange. The company’s technology is used in a broad range of products, including Vodafone’s Open RAN network-in-a-box, which is due to be launched in June.  

Telia needs to find a new group chief operating officer following the resignation of Dr Rainer Deutschmann, who will leave the Scandinavian telco at the end of May “to pursue opportunities outside the company.” Deutschmann, who was one of the many telco executives to discuss the impact of GenAI on the industry during this year’s MWC24 event in Barcelona, joined in 2020 from Sri Lankan operator Dialog Axiata and has previously held roles at Reliance Jio and Deutsche Telekom. Deutschmann has been responsible for Telia’s “common products, networks, IT and services, as well as responsible for driving the company’s digital transformation to become more agile with simplified operations, focused on growth, and with improved customer experience,” the operator noted in this announcement. As of 1 June, Hein Müskens, Telia’s group chief information officer,  will add to his role by also becoming the temporary group COO until a permanent replacement is found.

Dell Technologies’ share price hit an all-time high this week following the release of an investment note from Morgan Stanley that suggested the server vendor was set for a stellar year of revenues from products that support AI workloads, CNBC has reported. “All-in, we are hearing about more AI server momentum at Dell than at any other OEM,” wrote Morgan Stanley analyst Erik Woodring, who highlighted the close relationship between Dell and Nvidia, the AI chip giant, and raised the target price for Dell’s stock to $152 from $128. The note sent investors racing for Dell’s stock on Wednesday, when the vendor’s share price gained more than 10% to top $150 before settling down to close Thursday trading at $146.30. Dell’s share price is up by almost 96% this year as sales of its products soar on the back of demand for high-end servers and storage units. 

Helios Towers, which owns and operates more than 14,000 telecom tower sites in nine countries across Africa and the Middle East, has reported a 14% year-on-year increase in first-quarter revenues to $194.6m and a 104% increase in operating profit to $67.3m. CEO Tom Greenwood noted: “We have started the year well, continuing the momentum from 2023 to deliver strong operational and financial performance…  This was one of our strongest quarters for tenancy additions, supporting tenancy ratio expansion to close to 2.0x and towards our 2026 target of 2.2x.” The company has added 482 sites in the past year to take its total to 14,166 and has added 2,566 “tenants” to take its total to 27,686 by the end of March. 

- The staff, TelecomTV

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