Huawei continues to storm up the mobile infrastructure league tables, overtaking Nokia Siemens in the third quarter, just as it did Alcatel-Lucent in the first, to end up second only to Ericsson.
The change in the mobile equipment line-up, as calculated by research group dell'Oro, was announced on the day that Ericsson finalized its acquisition of virtually all the assets of Nortel's CDMA and LTE businesses (minus some patents), making north America its biggest region by sales and second largest by employee numbers.
This reinforces the geographic contrast between the big two, with Huawei still knocking on the door of the tier one US carriers, and facing political obstructions in India, but challenging Ericsson in Europe and Africa, and ahead in China.
As well as technology, Ericsson gains 2,500 employees from Nortel (making the firm's north American payroll 14,000 in number), plus contract transfers from Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular, Bell Canada, Telus and Leap.
This will help to widen the gap with Huawei again when the next set of infrastructure figures is calculated, but in the meantime, the Swedish leader saw its market share flat in Q3, though still dominant at 32%.
By contrast, Huawei's share almost doubled to 20%, up from 11% a year earlier and 15% in Q1.
Nokia Siemens lost its number two position as its own share fell from 24% a year before to almost 20%, fractionally below Huawei. Following NSN's awful third quarter results, co-parent Nokia said it expected the joint venture's market share to decline by more than previously expected in 2009 as a whole.
In the first quarter, Huawei also doubled its share year-on-year and knocked Alcatel-Lucent out of the top three.
Total mobile base station contracts in Q3 reached 134, up 19.6% on the year before but down 14% sequentially, according to another research report, from EJL Wireless.
Despite its loss of total share, NSN scored in terms of contract numbers in Q3, gaining 55% of them, beating Huawei on 19.4% and ZTE on 15%.
But while the Chinese duo may have won fewer deals than in Q2, when they had a total of 38.5%, their average value was rising significantly. “Demand continues to remain concentrated in Asia-Pacific with China, India and Vietnam being the most active countries,” said EJL president Earl Lum.
The Chinese vendors got 94% of new CDMA deals, NSN led in W-CDMA/HSPA with 65% of the contracts, and Huawei led in the HSPA+ subsector, with seven wins. 3G and 4G represented 63.4% of total deals.
And Huawei added another first to its lengthening list, many of them in LTE trials. Although Motorola and NSN have been working with China Mobile on its TDD flavor of the 4G standard, Huawei has announced the first actual deployment of a trial network outside the labs.
This TD-LTE/SAE system will be used for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo and covers the whole site of the event. Its download speed will be 29Mbps. The network uses the vendor's integrated TDD/FDD platform and the SAE core network standard.