Dell’Oro Group has completed its 1H2021 reports on “Telecommunications Infrastructure programs” including Broadband Access, Microwave & Optical Transport, Mobile Core & Radio Access Network (RAN), Service Provider Router & Switch markets. The data contained in these reports suggest that the positive trends that characterized the broader telecom equipment market extended into the second quarter, even if the pace of the growth slowed somewhat between the first and the second quarter.
Preliminary estimates suggest the overall telecom equipment market advanced 10% year-over-year (Y/Y) during 1H21 and 5% Y/Y in the quarter, down from 16% Y/Y in the first quarter. The growth in the first half was primarily driven by strong demand for both wireless and wireline equipment, lighter comparisons, and the weaker US Dollar (USD). Helping to explain the Y/Y growth deceleration between 1Q and 2Q is slower growth in China.
The analysis contained in these reports suggests the collective global share of the leading suppliers remained relatively stable between 2020 and 1H21, with the top seven vendors comprising around ~81% of the total market.
Huawei is still the overall market leader by some margin, despite its sales and marketing challenges in many other parts of the world. Huawei’s market share slid below 30%, though that still almost double the share of its nearest rivals Ericsson and Nokia. Within the mix, Dell-Oro estimates Huawei and Nokia lost some ground between 2020 and 1H21 while Cisco, Ericson, Samsung, and ZTE recorded minor share gains over the same period.
Additional key takeaways from the 1H2021 reporting period include:
- Following the Y/Y decline in 1Q20, our analysis suggests the overall telecom equipment market recorded a fifth consecutive quarter of growth in the second quarter.
- The improved market sentiment in the first half was relatively broad-based, underpinned by single-digit growth in SP Routers and double-digit advancements in Broadband Access, Microwave Transport, Mobile Core Networks, and RAN.
- Aggregate 2Q21 revenues were in line with expectations, however, within the programs both Broadband Access and Microwave Transport were surprised on the upside while Optical Transport and SP Routers came in below expectations.
- From a regional perspective, China underperformed in the quarter, impacting the demand for both wireless and wireline-related infrastructure.
- Ongoing efforts by the US government to curb the rise of Huawei are starting to show in the numbers outside of China, not just for RAN but in other areas as well.
- Though Huawei is not able to procure custom ASICs for its telecom products, the supplier is assuring the analyst community its current inventory levels is not a concern over the near term for its infrastructure business.
- The majority of the vendors have through proactive measures been able to navigate the ongoing supply chain shortages and minimize the infrastructure impact. At the same time, the supply constraints appear more pronounced with higher volume residential and enterprise products including CPE and WLAN endpoints.
- Even with the unusual uncertainty surrounding the economy, the supply chains, and the pandemic, the Dell’Oro analyst team remains optimistic about the second half – the overall telecom equipment market is projected to advance 5% to 10% for the full-year 2021, unchanged from last quarter.
Two of the key telecom revenue drivers will be the RAN and Broadband Access markets, both of which have been growing at a strong pace this year so far: The RAN market is set to grow at between 10% and 15% this year, which means it could be worth as much as $40 billion, while the increasing number and size of investments in fibre broadband access networks around the world is driving growth in the Broadband Access market, which Dell’Oro reports was worth $3.6 billion during the second quarter alone.
Dell’Oro Group telecommunication infrastructure research programs consist of the following: Broadband Access, Microwave Transmission & Mobile Backhaul, Mobile Core Networks, Mobile Radio Access Network, Optical Transport, and Service Provider (SP) Router & Switch.