Huawei and Ericsson continue to set the marker for rival infrastructure vendors in the LTE market, with two separate reports noting the pair dominate contract wins to date.
Informa Telecoms & Media claims the two firms’ success is causing major disparity in the mobile RAN market, with analysts estimating Huawei has snapped up 40% of LTE contracts awarded to date, and Ericsson 34% - double the amount won by the newly rebranded Nokia Siemens Networks, and significantly higher than the 9% share won by Alcatel-Lucent, Samsung, and NEC.
“The top three vendors have illustrated significant technological expertise and support to mobile operators, with Huawei and Ericsson having attracted the largest share of contracts,” principal analyst Dimitris Mavrakis says. “Preliminary research among operator CTOs…also suggests that Ericsson and Huawei are highly regarded when assessing vendors according to technology, pricing, support, and managed service capabilities.”
Analysis of second quarter mobile RAN contract awards by Dell’Oro Group paints a similar picture, but with Ericsson at the top of the table rather than Huawei. The vendors’ combined share of WCDMA and LTE contracts in 2Q13 was 63%, and the overall market achieved its third straight quarter of growth, fuelled by LTE contracts.
Stefan Pongratz, director of Mobile RAN research at Dell’Oro Group, says second quarter increases were driven by “double-digit growth in Latin America, North America and Europe,” which offset “weaker momentum in the Asia Pacific region.”
Although Asia Pacific suffered in the second quarter, Pongratz predicts the region will recover in the back half of 2013, and that North American contracts will slow down.
The reports follow analysis by ABI Research that places Ericsson and Huawei at the top of the table in terms of setting 3GPP standards, the majority of which are currently focused on LTE-Advanced.