by Stéphane Téral, Chief Analyst at LightCounting Market Research
3Q22 was almost a carbon copy of 2Q22, which signals that the 5G-driven wireless infrastructure market is reaching its peak as the first wave of 5G rollouts wane.
Global uncertainties, lingering supply chain constraints, and forex headwinds contributed to another soft 3Q22 that followed an already sluggish 1H22. In the meantime, the wireless infrastructure market continued to operate at its equilibrium reached in 2021: the 2 opposite spheres of influence, the East led by China versus the West defined as the U.S. and its allies, are becoming more balanced.
We found that the West accounted for 50.5% of the global wireless infrastructure market while the East made up for the rest, with China accounting for more than 80% of the East.
|Historical data accounts for sales of the following vendors:|
|Vendor||Segments||Source of Information|
|Affirmed Networks (acquired by Microsoft, April 2020)||vEPC, 5GC||Estimates|
|Altiostar||vRAN (CU, DU)||Estimates|
|ASOCS||vRAN (DU)||None, supplies other RAN/vRAN vendors|
|Baicell||RAN (RU)||None, supplies other RAN/vRAN vendors|
|Benetel||Open RAN (RU)||None, supplies other RAN/vRAN vendors|
|Cisco||EPC, vEPC, 5GC||Survey data and estimates|
|China Information and Communication Technologies Group (CICT)||RAN||Estimates|
|Comba Telecom||RAN/vRAN (RU)||None, supplies other RAN/vRAN vendors|
|CommScope (acquired Phluido vRAN patents, October 2020)||vRAN (RU, DU)||Estimates|
|Dell||vRAN (DU)||None, supplies other RAN/vRAN vendors|
|Ericsson||RAN, vRAN, 2/3G Core, EPC, vEPC, 5GC||Estimates|
|Fairwaves||RAN/vRAN (RU)||None, supplies other RAN/vRAN vendors|
|Fujitsu||RAN||Survey data and estimates|
|HPE||2G/3G core, 5GC||Estimates|
|Huawei||RAN, vRAN, 2/3G Core, EPC, vEPC, 5GC||Survey data and estimates|
|KMW||RAN/vRAN (RU)||None, supplies other RAN/vRAN vendors|
|Kontron||vRAN (DU)||None, supplies other RAN/vRAN vendors|
|Mavenir (acquired ip.access, September 2020)||vEPC, vRAN, 5GC||Survey data and estimates|
|Metaswitch (acquired by Microsoft, May 2020)||5GC, vEPC and 2G/3G core||Estimates|
|MTI Mobile||vRAN (RU)||None, supplies other RAN/vRAN vendors|
|Node-H||vRAN (small cells)||Estimates|
|Nokia||RAN, vRAN, 2/3G Core, EPC, vEPC, 5GC||Survey data and estimates|
|NEC (including Blue Danube)||RAN, vRAN (RU), EPC, 5GC||Survey data and estimates|
|Parallel Wireless||vRAN (CU, DU)||Estimates|
|Pivotal||RAN/vRAN (RU/mmWave repeater)||Estimates|
|Quanta Cloud Technology (QCT)||vRAN (DU)||None, supplies other RAN/vRAN vendors|
|Ribbon Communications||2G/3G core||Survey data and estimates|
|Samsung||RAN, vRAN, vEPC, 5GC||Estimates|
|Silicom||Open RAN (DU)||None, supplies other RAN/vRAN vendors|
|SuperMicro Computer||vRAN (DU)||None, supplies other RAN/vRAN vendors|
|Verana Networks||RAN/vRAN (RU/mmWave)||Estimates|
|ZTE||RAN, vRAN, 2/3G Core, EPC, vEPC, 5GC||Survey data and estimates|
LightCounting says the 2nd quarter of 2021 was robust for the wireless infrastructure market, as a second quarter typically is, but below 2Q20 that was revved up by China’s 5G catch-up after a massive COVID-19 lockdown. The 5G rollout momentum seen in North America, and Northeast Asia reported in 2H-2020 and 1Q-2021 continued in 2Q-2021 and was augmented by strong activity in Europe, and 4G expansion in India.
As a result, the global wireless infrastructure market grew sequentially, driven by RAN, open vRAN—again mostly fueled by Rakuten Mobile’s 5G network buildout, and 5G and 4G core network elements.
“2Q21 was somewhat reminiscent of the golden GSM era and I could not find anyone malcontent as sales of all 4G and 5G network nodes performed magnificently. Regarding the vendors’ market shares, the gradual rise of Ericsson and Nokia was most immediately induced by the fall of Huawei.” said Stéphane Téral, Chief Analyst at LightCounting Market Research.
LightCounting once again had to increase their North American forecast to reflect a strong start in C-band activity and Ericsson’s 5-year $8B 5G contract with Verizon and decrease their Asia Pacific’s 5G forecast due to uncertainties in China and India. As a result, the global wireless infrastructure market’s growth stayed intact at 5% over 2020.
In the long run, factoring in the strong North American 5G activity which is expected to last until 2025 our model’s market peak has moved by a year to 2023. Our service-provider 20-year wireless infrastructure footprint pattern analysis points to a 2020-2026 CAGR of 1% characterized by low single-digit growth through 2023, followed by a 1% decline in 2024, flatness in 2025, and a 4% drop in 2026. This lumpy pattern reflects the differences in regional and national agendas.
About the report:
2Q21 Wireless Infrastructure Market Size, Share, and Forecast report analyzes the wireless infrastructure market worldwide and covers 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G radio access network (RAN) and core network nodes. It presents historical data from 2016 to 2020, quarterly market size and vendor market shares, and a detailed market forecast through 2026 for 2G/3G/4G/5G RAN, including open vRAN, and core networks (EPC, vEPC, and 5GC), in over 10 product categories for each region (North America, Europe, Middle East Africa, Asia Pacific, Caribbean Latin America). The historical data accounts for the sales of more than 30 wireless infrastructure vendors, including vendors that shared confidential sales data with LightCounting. The market forecast is based on a model correlating wireless infrastructure vendor sales with 20 years of service provider network rollout pattern analysis and upgrade and expansion plans.
More information on the report is available at: