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EJL Wireless Research Reports Global Macrocell BBU Shipments Down 33% in 2020

China continues to dominate 5G NR BBUs with 70% share; 5G NR Massive MIMO capable BBUs capture 43% share

HALF MOON BAY, CA, UNITED STATES, April 21, 2021 / -- Shipments of macrocell digital baseband units (BBU) experienced a decline of 33% in 2020, according to the latest report from EJL Wireless Research titled “Global Macrocell Baseband Unit Market Analysis and Forecast, 2021-2025, 16th Edition.”

“China and its mobile operators captured 70% of massive MIMO 5G NR BBU shipments and 35% of total BBU shipments in 2020,” says founder and President, Earl Lum. EJL Wireless Research is forecasting BBU unit shipment growth of 17% in 2021 and 24% in 2022 that is driven by 5G NR massive MIMO C-Band deployments in the United States as well as continued 5G NR deployments in Europe and China.

“Besides 5G NR stand alone (SA) BBU deployments, we anticipate 5G NR non-stand alone (NSA) BBU upgrades due to mobile operators’ desires to implement dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) technology to support dual mode LTE/5G NR in low and mid-band spectrum. In our opinion, this strategy is the lowest CAPEX intensive option to launch 5G services for mobile operators without procuring new spectrum. We also expect those mobile operators who plan to sunset their 3G networks will likely refarm their 2100MHz Band 1 spectrum for dual mode LTE/5G NR NSA or 5G NR SA services,” says Lum.

About EJL Wireless Research
EJL Wireless Research provides proprietary, accurate and cutting-edge market analysis and consulting services on the wireless technology ecosystem. The firm's wireless infrastructure research focuses on vertical elements of the wireless ecosystem including telecommunication standards evolution, global and regional regulatory issues, spectrum availability, mobile operators, and mobile infrastructure equipment vendors. In addition, the firm provides analysis across horizontal technology suppliers including RF semiconductor materials, RF semiconductor/components, and RF subsystems. Our goal is to provide our clients with critical market analysis and information.

EJL Wireless Research believes it has a corporate responsibility, both local and international, in giving back to the community. Please visit our website for more information about the charitable organizations it supports at:

EJL Wireless Research is managed by Earl Lum. Mr. Lum has over 25 years of experience within the wireless industry including 8 years as an Equity Research Analyst on Wall Street. The company is headquartered in Half Moon Bay, CA. For more information about EJL Wireless Research, please visit the company’s website at

Earl J. Lum
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