Despite being excluded from the US market, Huawei has been rated as being the leading equipment supplier for the initial tranche of LTE contacts. The company is measured as gaining 35 per cent of commercial LTE deals, double the number of it main rivals--Ericsson, NSN and ZTE.
While the Chinese vendors were first credited with winning 2G and 3G infrastructure deals based upon low pricing, Huawei is thought to have won LTE contracts using similar prices to its larger European competitors. It has also been recognised for having flexible base station technology, such as its SingleRAN architecture, that is on a par (or thereabouts) with other major vendors.
However, the report, undertaken by Telegeography, claims that, while Huawei has won 18 commercial contracts to date--or 36 per cent of the total of 50 surveyed by TeleGeography--Ericsson has been winning larger deals with operators in mature markets, where it has long standing ties.
Of the remaining 32 contracts, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens have 16 per cent each, and Alcatel-Lucent 14 per cent. The remaining deals--18 per cent of the total--were awarded to ZTE, NEC (at DoCoMo), Motorola Networks (China Mobile) and Samsung (Cellular South).
Meanwhile, observers maintain that the infrastructure equipment market is fast moving towards commoditisation with the value being seen in software and the ability of suppliers to support multiple networks.
While Huawei has built its market position based upon wins with smaller operators and newer markets, Ericsson's position as being a significant supplier to the three major US LTE projects--Verizon Wireless, AT&T and MetroPCS, will provide it with valuable knowledge and reputation, assuming the commercial deployments run to plan.
Alcatel-Lucent, which shares the first two of these US deals with Ericsson, might also be able to use the experience to rebuild its status as an LTE contender.
- see this Rethink Wireless article