ABI Research said in a recent report that manufacturers of RF power amplifiers and RF power devices used in cellular base stations are “in for a rough ride” for the remainder of the decade, due to a steady decline in large-scale GSM deployments. “The number of GSM base stations will peak towards the end of this year, and will decline after that,” said analyst Lance Wilson. The result will be a roughly 20% decline in shipments between now and 2009, and an 11% reduction in revenues over the same period, Wilson said.

However, he said the decline “probably won’t come as a surprise” to the major vendors serving the sector. “Andrew, PowerWave and Remec all anticipated this and have been evolving their businesses,” Wilson said. “They’ve all been actively trying to supply the entire RF path. They want to supply more of the system and not just the power components.”