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RF Suppliers Climb the Integration Ladder for 5G Handsets

New competition from China takes a surprising share of the market.

CAMPBELL, CA, USA, June 6, 2022 / -- As 5G takes hold, the need for RF Front End (RFFE) component integration accelerates. Mobile Experts has released a new report that tracks all RF components used in 2G, 3G, LTE, and 5G terminals.

With a 220% year-over-year increase for 5G smartphones in 2021, it's clear that RFFE is becoming more valuable than ever. According to the new Mobile Experts report, the new 5G bands in 3.5 GHz and 4.9 GHz have already been implemented as modules. In China, the largest 5G smartphone market, approximately half of the phones use integrated modules (for low and mid/high bands).

"By 2027, more than 80% of all smartphones will support 5G," commented Mobile Experts analyst Dan McNamara. "As a result, we will see stabilization and growth over the next few years for the RFFE market. But new competitors in China are making rapid progress with amplifier and filter technology, and are developing module capability as well."

RF Front Ends for Mobile Devices 2022 identifies 13 Chinese vendors of RF components that most RF suppliers in the West have never heard of…yet these 13 players account for more than $600 million of RF component sales. Detailed technical analysis illustrates how these companies will become competitive in the Front End Module (FEM) market within the next few years, making the battle for RF market share much more intense.

The report thoroughly covers the licensed-band radio components in mobile devices and the introduction of multiple new technologies in the mobile RF Front End. The report weighs the merits of different technologies, providing a vision of the future for mobile RF Front Ends, and providing RF component suppliers enough information to plan their investments in new products over the next few years.

"To put together this comprehensive look at RFFE, Mobile Experts uses a rigorous process to cross-check forecast estimates. Our estimates come from direct interviews with more than 40 RF component vendors and mobile device OEMs, triangulated pricing analysis, direct access to shipment information, and fine-tuned instincts from decades of experience analyzing the market," said analyst Dan McNamara.

Subscribers to Mobile Experts research will receive:
• Full access to the 150-page RFFE 2022 report;
• 128 comprehensive charts and figures;
• The detailed Excel file with forecast data through 2027;
• Quarterly market share, shipment, adoption updates;
• Quarterly Expert INSIGHT strategic reports;
• Access to the analysts behind the reports.

About Mobile Experts Inc.: 
Mobile Experts provides insightful market analysis for the mobile infrastructure and mobile handset markets. Our analysts are true Experts, who remain focused on topics where each analyst has 25 years of experience or more. Research topics center on technology introduction for radio frequency (RF) and communications innovation. Recent publications focus on RFFE, Macro Base Stations, Private LTE, vRAN, Private Enterprise, ORAN, RAN Revenue & CAPEX, Fixed Mobile Convergence, Small Cells, Satellite and Mobile, Cellular V2X, and more.

Rachel Winningham
Mobile Experts