GSM gear price falls as vendor rivalry steps up

Price competition among network vendors is increasing, especially in the huge GSM segment, says research firm Dell'Oro.

GSM networks sales increased just 7% in the third quarter, despite a 40% rise in base station shipments, the company said.

'GSM was hit particularly hard by price erosion resulting from intense vendor competition in developing regions,' said Scott Siegler, mobility infrastructure analyst.

Dell'Oro found that the worldwide mobile infrastructure market grew 4% in the third quarter compared to the same period last year.

The biggest growth came from Asia Pacific and Latin America, which together expanded by 38%, offsetting the double digit declines in North America and EMEA. But it was the intense competition in those regions that also drove down prices, Dell'Oro said.

Siegler said competition increased when vendors try to win new footprint buildouts, in contrast to upgrading networks already using their equipment.

Nokia Siemens, with a regional mix heavily weighted in Asia Pacific and Latin America, grew its share of GSM and worldwide infrastructure market revenues almost 5 percentage points in the quarter compared to last year.