Huawei scores victory in telecom equipment market space, says Dell’Oro Group

It would be fair to say Huawei has not had a stack of good press in recent weeks – but a new report from Dell’Oro Group has seen solid uptick with regards to the telecom equipment market.

According to the latest note from the analyst group, Huawei now holds 29% of the telecom equipment market, ahead of Nokia – including Alcatel Lucent – and Ericsson. The Chinese vendor has increased its market share by eight percentage points since 2013.

Huawei led Nokia, Ericsson, Cisco, ZTE, Ciena, and Samsung as the primary equipment manufacturer in 2018. Between them, Dell’Oro noted, these companies accounted for approximately 80% of worldwide service provider equipment market revenue.

The overall market is in better health than previously, with growth of 1% year over year in 2018 following three consecutive years of decline. This is attributed to higher demand for broadband access, optical transport, microwave, and mobile RAN technologies. The remaining segments – carrier IP, wireless packet core, SP router and carrier ethernet switch – declined in the year.

Ultimately, Huawei is the only vendor to see consistent growth in the market. ZTE, for instance, declined having previously had approximately 10% in market share, while the other primary vendors remained flat.

In terms of wireless packet core (WPC), Huwaei was again at the top, hitting the summit for the first time last year. “The modest growth of the WPC market in 4Q 2018 was due to the 4G Evolved Packet Core (EPC) technologies that service providers are using for 4G networks, but also for EPC use in upcoming 5G network deployments,” said Dave Bolan, senior analyst at Dell’Oro Group.

“For 2018 WPC market shares, Huawei was the number one vendor based on revenues: however, Ericsson retained its first-place ranking for the EPC market that was the largest sub-segment of the wireless packet core market.”

The telecoms industry gathered for MWC in Barcelona last week and the expected conjecture around 5G was plentiful. EE, OnePlus and Qualcomm launched an initiative called ‘5G Apps of Tomorrow’ at the show, while the GSMA found that 5G was set to account for 15% of all mobile connections by 2025.

Meanwhile, the media storm around Huawei – and particularly its increasingly sour relationship with the US – continues to gather pace. In response to American calls on allies to ban Chinese 5G equipment, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said earlier this month “there’s no way the US can crush” his firm. Earlier this week, the company took out a full-page advert in the Wall Street Journal urging its readers: ‘Don’t believe everything you hear.’

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