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Huawei cements pole position in 2020 supplier rankings

Huawei looks to have brushed aside geopolitical pressures on its equipment business.

Buoyed by increased spending on 5G in its home market, research firm Dell'Oro Group estimates that Huawei increased its revenue share of the global telecom equipment market by two to three percentage points during 2020.

It means that the Chinese supplier grabbed a 31% market share, up from 28% in 2019. The combined market shares of Ericsson and Nokia, even though they were boosted by increased RAN spending outside China, were less than Huawei's total.

Dell'Oro found that the overall telecom market – covering broadband access, microwave and optical transport, mobile core and RAN, SP router and carrier Ethernet switch (CES) – grew by 7%, year-on-year, in 2020. It's the fastest pace of growth since 2011.

The top seven suppliers, according to Dell'Oro's calculations, account for between 80% and 85% of the total equipment market.

Table 1: Huawei keeps revenue lead

Top seven suppliers Year 2019          Year 2020
Huawei 28% 31%
Nokia 16% 15%
Ericsson 14% 15%
ZTE 9% 10%
Cisco 7% 6%
Ciena 3% 3%
Samsung 3% 2%
Source: Dell'Oro Group.

Q4 perspectives

The positive momentum that characterized the overall telecom market since Q1 20, said Dell'Oro, extended into the fourth quarter.

Underpinning the feelgood factor was strong growth in multiple wireless segments, including RAN and mobile core networks, alongside modest growth in broadband access and CES.


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Dell'Oro further reported that COVID-19 related supply chain disruptions, which impacted some of the telco segments in the early part of the year, "had for the most part been alleviated towards the end of the year."

With investments in China outpacing the overall market, Dell'Oro estimates that Huawei and ZTE collectively gained around three to four percentage points of revenue share between 2019 and 2020. The Chinese duo account for more than 40% of the global telecom equipment market.

Dell'Oro is optimistic about 2021. Despite 2020 being particularly good, the research firm still projects the overall telecom equipment to advance 3% to 5% this year.

— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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