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Ericsson, Nokia and Huawei in 5G: Clarifying media reports

by Philip Kendall | Apr 17, 2019

Our recent report “Comparison and 2023 5G Global Market Potential for leading 5G RAN Vendors – Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia” has received some mixed coverage in the media this week, including claims of an exaggerated leadership position for Huawei in 5G.

We see good evidence of Huawei’s strong position in the 5G market, though this is not a dramatic one and it is important to note that both Ericsson and Nokia have many successes and positive proof points in 5G too, in addition to early successes at Samsung. Our report highlighted a number of examples of technology innovation at all of these vendors.

In analysing the addressable market for 5G RAN equipment, we presented a 2023 outlook based on the percentage of 5G subscribers served by equipment from these vendors (rather than a forecast of the sales or installed base of 5G RAN equipment). This naturally loads the vendor shares to higher-volume subscriber markets, in particular the US and China. South Korea and US dominate this picture today (markets where Samsung, Ericsson, and Nokia have strong positions), with the US and China dominating the 5G subscriber landscape by 2023, with the latter instrumental to Huawei’s market share lead based on our methodology.

Indeed, our report provided the more balanced conclusion that “Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia shares are broadly similar. This creates strong global competition but also leaves a healthy opportunity for smaller vendors to find their niches below these three.”

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