Telecommunications sector expected to pick up pace after 2020 in the global analog phase shifter market
Analog phase shifters are used for continuously variable phase, most often controlled by a voltage. Electrically controlled phase shifters use varactor diodes or nonlinear dielectrics. The major application of analog phase shifters is found in phased array antennas used in defence equipment satellites and weather monitoring radars. For a long time, analog phase shifters were catering to a limited number of applications in radars and satellite communication, and a major chunk of the market can be attributed to defence applications. However, this market scenario is set to change in the coming years, with 5G antennas integrating analog phase shifters within them.
The widespread nature and ubiquity of telecommunication infrastructure will induce a substantial growth in the market for analog phase shifters. The telecommunications segment in the global analog phase shifter market is expected to pick up pace in 2020, when the segment is anticipated to reach a valuation of over US$ 60 Mn by the end of 2020. The other two segments – radars and satellites – are both expected to witness a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period 2017-2027. The telecommunications segment is expected to grow at a whopping CAGR of 59.2% during the forecast period.
Analog phase shifter market to grow with arial defence gaining importance among security forces
As political instability and civil war continues in the Middle East, rich economies like the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are likely to spend heavily on their aerial defence programs. Procurement of air-to-surface missiles and up-gradation of military jets is also on the rise. Many countries are even implementing usage of drones into their arsenal. As phased array antennas are largely used in missile defence systems and military jets, the increasing focus on aerial defence will result in a favourable demand for analog phase shifters in the coming years.
Phased array radars have become omnipresent to defence applications due to significant investments over a long period of time. Several technological advancements in this sector have garnered the interest of a number of industries. The application of phased array technology is done in many technologies such as air traffic control, weather monitoring, and automotive radar. Other than this, the usage of phased array antennas is also rampant in passenger airlines and private space explorers to develop applications on top of the currently available products. The current technologies have undergone a significant overhaul on their design and efficiency and thus, manufacturers have leveraged their technology skills gained from defence expertise into the development of commercial solutions.
Cost restrictions are expected to hinder revenue growth of the analog phase shifter market during the forecast period
Traditionally, phased array radars have been costly, inflexible, and complex to calibrate. This was acceptable in the case of defence applications because the defence industry is generally characterised with longer product development cycles and costlier products. However, airlines have put forward cost concerns as one of the primary reservations against the adoption of phased array radars. To meet the cost requirements, manufacturers have developed methods to mass produce analog phase shifters and phased array antennas by not using dielectric or meta-materials. What remains to be seen is the actual implementation of cost optimised radars and other analog phase shifter applications in the aviation sector and the subsequent benefits vis-à-vis the price points offered by manufacturers.
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