Huawei dominated wireless packet core market in 2018

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Huawei has enjoyed steady growth over the past five years in the telecom equipment markets, according to Dell'Oro Group. (Monica Alleven/FierceWireless)

Huawei was the top vendor globally in the wireless packet core (WPC) market during 2018, according to market research firm Dell’Oro Group, which produces a suite of quarterly telecom equipment reports.

Huawei’s rank as the number-one vendor for WPC is a first for the company. Dell’Oro noted that Ericsson maintained its strong performance in the evolved packet core (EPC) segment, which Dell’Oro considers the largest sub-segment of the wireless packet core market. Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia together ranked as the top three vendors in the market.

Huawei has enjoyed steady growth over the past five years in the telecom equipment markets. The company’s revenue share of the global telecom infrastructure market has increased two percentage points annually during the period to reach 29% in 2018.

At the same time, the market shares of Ericsson and Nokia have each declined about a percentage point each year until 2018, when market shares for both companies remained flat.

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According to Dell’Oro, the wireless packet core market saw modest growth during the fourth quarter of 2018, with revenues up 7% year over year. Dave Bolan, senior analyst at Dell’Oro Group, attributed the growth to 4G EPC technologies that wireless service providers are using for current 4G networks, along with EPC tech that’ll be used in upcoming 5G network deployments.

Overall, the mobile infrastructure market beat expectations in 2018 in a surprise twist, according to Dell’Oro.

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“The global upswing that began in the second half of 2018 was broader and deeper than previously expected, validating the message we have communicated for some time; namely, there are reasons to be optimistic about the RAN market,” said Stefan Pongratz, senior director at Dell'Oro Group, in a statement. “In addition to the strong focus on LTE and LTE-Advanced, the shift toward 5G NR continued to accelerate throughout the year.”

Pongratz said he expects rapid growth for 5G NR revenues in 2019.

“The reality is that the technology is now ready for the first phase of the 5G NR launch supporting the eMBB [enhanced mobile broadband] and FWA [fixed wireless access] use cases,” he said.