Recent research conducted around the telecommunications market has revealed that while the kit market grew in 2019, it was driven almost entirely by Chinese vendors.

Carried out by Dell’Oro, the preliminary numbers have shown a second consecutive year of growth, with the overall market taking an upward curve of some 2%.

This is taking broadband access, SP router & CE switch, microwave & optical transport and mobile core & radio access network into account.

Rounded percentages are as follows; Huawei 28%, Nokia 16%, Ericsson 14%, ZTE 10% and Cisco 7%.

ZTE’s rebound has been the biggest story in the past year, seeing both Cisco and Nokia losing out on market share. It should be noted, however, that Huawei has taken a large slice of the pie from both Nokia and Ericsson.

Mobile RAN and Optical Transport, the two largest equipment makers, accounted for about 55% of the overall telecom equipment market. They were also the growth drivers.

“While the overall RAN results in the quarter were in line with expectations, 5G wireless RAN activity surprised on the upside, underpinning projections that the rollout of 5G wireless networks is accelerating,” said Stefan Pongratz, VP at Dell’Oro.

“This migration from LTE to 5G NR continued to accelerate at a torrid pace throughout 2019. We remain optimistic these trends will extend into 2020, propelling the overall RAN market to advance for a third consecutive year.”

Dell’Oro suggest that a crude interpretation of those numbers is that Huawei and ZTE are out-competing Nokia and Ericsson in the RAN market.

Albeit, that is slightly counterintuitive given the restrictions the US has put them under.

One possible answer could be that the Chinese government obliged its operators to favour domestic suppliers in response.

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