A Recon Analytics on-line survey results show that Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung are the top RAN vendors not including China. When the same global operators were asked which vendor had the best overall radio access network (RAN) portfolios, over 50% of respondents named Ericsson and Samsung as the top two. One would’ve expected Nokia to be #2, but the Finland based vendor ended 2023 on a negative trajectory when AT&T announced that it would work with Ericsson to deploy Open RAN equipment in its 5G network and exclude Nokia.
The survey was conducted in October and November, 2023 with 100 global network operators. Each respondent worked at a service provider that sells mobile services. Only one response per operator per country was allowed. Although a multinational operator like Orange France and Orange Belgium would count as two separate responses.
All respondents were required to have one of the following roles when it came to selecting network partners – influencer, budget holder, decision maker or purchaser.
Recon Analytics estimates there are only about 710 live commercial mobile networks in the world. The 100 network operators captured in its survey, represent the meaningful part of the world, according to Roger Entner, founder of Recon Analytics. However, the relatively low sample size results in a margin of error of 9.8%. Entner had earlier opined that “FWA was the 5G killer application.” That despite it is a wireles network configuration – not an application – and it is not one of the ITU-R use cases for 5G (aka IMT 2020).
Communication Service Provider RAN Vendor Insights:
When survey respondents were asked which vendors have the best overall RAN portfolio, they named Ericsson, Samsung and Nokia, in that order.
“Ericsson, with the overall highest level of positive responses for being a top three vendor, positions the company well for the future,” said Daryl Schoolar, analyst with Recon Analytics.
Of respondents who said they were currently using Ericsson equipment, 77% said Ericsson had one of the three best portfolios, followed by Samsung at 54%, and Nokia at 49%. 87% of respondents who say they are using Samsung gear list the Japan based vendor as having a top three portfolio.
“While Ericsson’s users don’t list it in their top three at the same frequency as Samsung, 77% is a strong showing and bodes well for its future,” said Schoolar. “Nokia has reason to be concerned as well. While its current users did select it in top three most often among the five vendors shown here, there was little separation between Nokia versus Ericsson and Samsung,” he added.
Meanwhile, Fujitsu and Mavenir (Open RAN only vendor) also scored well as vendors that operators are interested in for the future. Samsung’s top three status is 18 percentage points over its currently used status; Fujitsu’s top three status is 9 percentage points over currently used; and Mavenir’s top three status is 9 percentage points over currently used.
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